High Expectations for African American Women on the LPGA Tour in 2019.

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From left to right: Ginger Howard, Mariah Stackhouse, Sadena Parks, Robbi Howard, Cheyenne Woods. (Photo Credit: Ginger Howard)

For the first time in its sixty-six year history, the LPGA has five black women on tour. There hasn’t been this much black golf history since 1964 when Althea Gibson became the first Black woman to play on the LPGA Tour.

By Herschel Caldwell (sources of this article are the LPGA Tour and Wikipedia)

Several factors contribute to why we don’t see more Black golfers, male or female, playing on the LPGA and PGA Tours. The culture of the sport provides a great deal, but the other primary factors include cost, access, and awareness.

Golf is not a sport that Black families have traditionally supported with their dollars. Little league basketball and football teams are usually the go-to for Black families. Although an athlete can play golf for a lifetime, it is not a sport we have embraced as a culture. The industry as a whole holds on to the fact that golf is meritorious. If you can play, the opportunities are there. That’s only half-true. A young golfer doesn’t have to spend his lunch money or bus fare to practice basketball or football. To get to the elite levels of this game, it is tremendously expensive. The cost of equipment, coaches, range time, rounds, tournament entry fees, lodging, and travel can eat into a family’s budget. Without sponsor dollars, it is difficult for golfers to continue at the professional level. THAT is what makes having four Black women playing professionally so momentous for the game.

However, the coverage on Golf Channel neglected to note the historical significance of having a cohort of five Black women on tour. We won’t wait for them to say it, we’ll keep reminding everyone that the game should reflect the society in which we live.

Although none of the current African American women on the LPGA Tour were winners in 2018, we nonetheless, fully expect to see some top ten finishes and even two wins from this talented groups of female golfers.

Ginger Howard (born March 15, 1994) is an American professional golfer on the Symetra Tour. At the age of 17, she was the youngest African American to turn professional and win her debut tournament at 10 shooting a personal best, 64  to win. She was the first African American to earn a spot in Junior Ryder Cup, playing in 2010.

She attained her 2016 LPGA Tour card through qualifying school.

Mariah Stackhouse

Mariah Stackhouse is an American professional golfer on the U.S.-based LPGA Tour. Stackhouse is a graduate of Stanford University, where she was a four-year All-American, and majored in communications. Stackhouse helped the Cardinal to an NCAA title in 2015. In 2011, at the age of 17, she became the youngest African American woman to earn a spot in the field at the U.S. Open. In 2014, she became the first African American woman to make the Curtis Cup team, which the United States won that year.

Sadena Parks (born May 4, 1990) is an American professional golfer who plays on LPGA Tour. Parks became the first African American to earn her Tour card through the Symetra Tour and just the fifth African American to earn an LPGA Tour card.

Cheyenne Woods

Cheyenne Nicole Woods is an American professional golfer. Woods was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a daughter of Susan Woods and Earl Dennison Woods Jr., who is golfer Tiger Woods’ half-brother, making Cheyenne Tiger’s niece. Her paternal grandfather Earl Woods was her first coach. In an interview with Golf Digest, Woods stated that her mother was White and her father African-American with some Asian and Native American.

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