Golf News for Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Briefly

PGA Historical Center display in honor of Black History Month

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The PGA of America is paying tribute to four groundbreaking African-American heroes in the sport of golf with a moving Black History Month display at the PGA Historical Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Honored in the historical retrospective are former Heavyweight Champion of the World Joe Louis, and PGA Professionals Charlie Sifford, Pete Brown and Steve Hogan.

PGA Historical Center celebrates Black History Month

Louis became the first African American to compete with a sponsor's exemption in a PGA Tour event during the 1963 San Diego Open. A staunch supporter of black golfers being accepted to play in PGA events, Louis used the Joe Louis Open, an even held in Detroit from 1941-51 to spearhead his efforts. Louis' son, Joe Louis Barrow Jr., is the Chief Executive Officer of The First Tee, an organization dedicated to teaching junior golf.

Sifford, a PGA Life Member and the 1975 Senior PGA Champion, became the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, in 2004. He joined the PGA Tour in 1961, and won two Tour events - the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and 1969 Los Angeles Open.

Brown, the first African American to win a sanctioned PGA Tour event when he captured the 1964 Waco Turner Open, is also a PGA Life Member. He won the 1970 Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational and then served as PGA head professional at Madden Golf Course in Dayton, Ohio, from 1978-2003.

Steve Hogan, the 2003 PGA Junior Golf Leader, became a legend for redirecting the lives of youth in the Omaha, Neb., area through his "Hogan's Junior Golf Heroes," which began in 1990. In 2002, he created The First Tee of Omaha - two programs that he molded together, in order to make a difference through golf for countless children in the area. Hogan passed away from cancer in 2008.

"The individuals honored here are pioneers and heroes who have championed the cause of diversity that echoes throughout the game of golf and our society today," said PGA President Jim Remy. "Their passion for the game will continue to resonate for generations to come, as they have afforded the opportunity for people of all races, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds to play and compete in our great sport."

The PGA Historical Center, the new home to the Ryder Cup trophy, will feature the Black History Month tribute and Samuel Ryder's golden chalice trophy this winter. The facility is part of PGA Village, which also features the PGA Golf Club, with 54 holes of Championship golf by Tom Fazio and Pete Dye, and ranked among the 50 Best Golf Courses in the United States by Golf World; and the PGA Learning Center, just honored for the 10th consecutive year as one of the "Top 100 Golf Practice Facilities in America" by Golf Range Magazine.

The PGA Historical Center is located adjacent to the PGA Learning Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with complementary admission daily. For more information on PGA Village and the Black History Month display at the PGA Historical Center, please call (800) 800-GOLF or visit PGAVillage.com.

About PGA Village

The Ryder, Wanamaker and Dye Courses form a trio of world-class public courses at the PGA Golf Club, at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Named by Golf Digest as one of the "75 Best Golf Resorts in North America," PGA Village also features the award-winning, 35-acre PGA Learning Center golf park and PGA Historical Center golf museum. The PGA Golf Club exists to be one of the premier daily fee facilities in America, and to serve as a home club for our 28,000 PGA Professionals. For more information, please visit PGAVillage.com.

About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.

By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry.

By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.