I'm a fan of Will Ferrell and for a while had a passing interest in car racing (How did driving fast cars around in ovals become a sport?! Answer: Moonshining.), so when the movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" came out a few years back I had to see it. In a nutshell: Ricky Bobby and his best friend Cal Naughton, Jr. are NASCAR drivers and they love to drive fast and win. At least Ricky does. Cal becomes content with coming in second place and helping his best friend win all of the time.
There are so any interesting “firsts” for women and people of color in golf history. Chester Washington Golf Course, located in Los Angeles, was one of the first in the area to allow African Americans to play on a municipal course. Chester Washington is just down the street from Maggie Hathaway Golf Course. Hathaway, an actress who began playing golf after she won a bet with boxer Joe Louis in 1955, was a vigilant crusader for the integration of golf and was present the day Lee Elders became the first African American to play in the Masters in 1971. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, considered one of the best all around female athletes in history, became the first woman to ever play on the PGA Tour, competing in what was then the Los Angeles Open. As recently as 2012, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore became the first two women given the coveted green jacket and admitted as members to Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most famous golf courses in the world.
I'm grateful for all of the firsts in golf by women and people of color because I can now enjoy this sport. Although I have no plans to quit my day job, my friends and I can walk onto any municipal course, pay our greens fees and play our hearts out. The LPGA will never post my photo and stats on their website, but I've created this online space where I can share my golfing experiences as well as those of other women who love to play this game.
So thank you to Chester, Maggie, Condoleezza, Darla, Althea, Babe, Lee and all the other “firsts”. I may not be the first woman or first African American to enjoy playing golf, but I know I won't be the last.
Now get out there and play!