BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 11:15am March 08, 2024,

International Women’s Day: Zoe Slaughter is breaking barriers as Texas A&M’s first Black woman golfer

Zoe Slaughter. Photo credit: KAGS TV

Coming from an athletic family, Zoe Slaughter’s mother Kafi was a track athlete at Texas A&M. Slaughter first tried that but later realized her passion for golf.

“I tried all the sports you can name but I think golf, there’s just a feeling of peace and home,” Slaughter explained to KAGS. “The feeling of a good shot is like nothing you can match. I kind of fell into it. It just helps to have my grandpa and my dad around to help me and support me in that.”

It was Slaughter’s grandfather, Jake Carter, who introduced her to golf after he had learned the sport as a caddy. He was one of 13 children from a humble background who worked at a local country club as a caddy before earning a full-ride scholarship to play at the historically Black university Prairie View A&M. While there, he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education and became a team captain at the same time.

To Slaughter’s mother Kafi, golf changed the life of her family and propelled their education. Slaughter knows that very well and is hoping to thrive in the sport and make an impact. Right from high school to collegiate golf, she’s been breaking boundaries including being named the American Conference Freshman of the Year at the University of Houston.

While in high school, her skills attracted Gerrod Chadwell, who was then the head coach for the Houston Cougars. When Chadwell later agreed to be the head coach at Texas A&M, Slaughter followed him by transferring to A&M, where she made history on the women’s golf team.

She recalled her academic advisor telling her of her feat in 2021, decades after the Texas A&M Women’s Golf program began in 1975.

“He was like, ‘Did you know you are the first African-American here?’ and I was like, ‘Wow, that is insane,'” said Slaughter.

“We all looked at each other and we go, ‘What?'” her mom Kafi said. 

“I think it’s just awesome to be able to hold that title,” said Slaughter. “I just want to be able to lead the way for other people and I’m just so grateful to be here.”

Slaughter went on to set records for the school, shooting the fourth-best round in school history that helped the team secure a spot in the NCAA National Championships. Just last year, the talented golfer set a school record during a 54-hole tournament, posting a score of -18 while capturing the ICON Invitational title, KAGS reported, adding that she also gave Texas A&M its first SEC title since 2015.

“My time here’s been awesome,” Slaughter said. “We’ve always had a pretty great team, hard work ethic. I’ve just been having a good time here playing good tournaments, playing good golf and ready to keep going forward.”

Slaughter now hopes to inspire other Black girls to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacles.

“You can do the same thing as anyone else. At the end of the day, you have just as much talent and it’s just about reminding yourself that you have that. Never let yourself down and never let yourself get down,” Slaughter advised.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 8, 2024

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