He lost some of his best years to the PGA of America’s “Caucasians only” clause.  But, he did not let that stop him from making a historical mark in the golf world.  Charlie Sifford became the first black player to compete as a member of the PGA Tour, and went on to win two Tour tournaments and two senior Tour events.  His perseverance and ability earned him a spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, becoming the first African-American to be feted with that honor.   Sifford was born in 1922 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He found work as a caddie and quickly showed an acumen for playing the game.  By the age of 13 he was able to shoot par golf.  As he got older, he wanted to make a living playing golf, but was prevented from doing so at the highest levels.  He turned to coaching the game and also played in the old United Golf Association events, winning the National Negro Open six times.   In 1961, due to his and others’ efforts to get the Caucasians-only clause lifted, he finally was able to join the PGA Tour (run by the PGA of America at that time).  He won the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open, both victories occurring when he was well into his 40s.  In 1980 he joined the fledgling Senior Tour and later that year won the Suntree Classic.  He still competes each year in the Legends of Golf held in Savannah, Georgia.
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