In the 1930s, a group of Black women fought to desegregate golf in Baltimore

Stephen Nartey December 15, 2022
Black Baltimore Golf Club honours pioneers/Photo credit: Ohio University

The Pitch and Putt Golf Club is the second oldest African-American female golf organization in the U.S. It was birthed as a result of the tenacity and sheer determination of a group of African-American women who had love for the game.

In the 1930s, it was near impossible for African-American female golfers to participate in the sport. White males had made rules governing where Black female golfers could play the game.

The only course where Black female golfers could play the game of golf in 1938 was the Carroll Park. They had access to the park in 1936 after the Monumental Golf Club filed a lawsuit protesting the segregation of golf courses, according to The Club ensured consistent reportage of their protests for the golf course to be desegregated.

And even when they had access to the Carroll Park Golf Course, they were only given the chance to play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In an attempt to make the elite game challenging for the women, they were made to play on the sandy fairways with little grass. In 1942, the female golfers launched another protest at the courts against the condition of the golf course. An all-white jury ruled in their favor. Carroll Park was renovated and it became known as the Negro golf course. By 1951, all of the Baltimore City golf courses were open to all residents irrespective of race. 

A brick monument has been erected to honor the role of the African-American female golfers who pushed for equal access on the golf course in Baltimore city. President of Pitch and Putt Golf Club, Stephanie Williams, said the Club has 33 members who are within the age range of 30 to 80 years.

Williams said if they have an opportunity to play golf today, it is because of the advocacy made by the persistent African-American female golfers. She said the monument is evidence of the challenges the women endured in desegregating the game of golf in Baltimore.

Last Edited by:iboateng Updated: December 15, 2022


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