Posted: 1/24/2011

JOE LOUIS BARROW, JR., CEO OF THE FIRST TEE TO BE INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL BLACK GOLF HALL OF FAME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 21, 2011

National Black Golf Hall of Fame Celebrates 25 Years!
Advocates Invitational Pro Tour Launches 2nd Year

The National Black Golf Hall of Fame will celebrate its 25th year with a dinner and induction ceremony on March 5, 2011 at the Embassy Suites – USF, in Tampa, FL. The 2011 inductees will be Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., CEO of The First Tee; Rose Harper, golf industry entrepreneur and CEO of The Grass Ceiling; and Dr. Calvin Sinnette, physician, historian and author of Forbidden Fairways. Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation, will be the keynote speaker.

The mission of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame is “to recognize and honor the contributions of Black golfers for their skills and, to honor persons, regardless of race or ethnicity, who have done the most to promote golf in the Black communities.” Among the original class of inductees 25 years ago were James Black, Jim Brown, Arnold Palmer, Jim and Chuck Thorpe, and the late heavyweight champion of the world and golf enthusiast, Joe Louis. The organization was founded in 1986 by the late Harold Dunovant, the first African American to complete the PGA business school.

Barrow said: “I am humbled and feel it a privilege to be inducted in the National Black Golf Hall of Fame. The fact that it comes on the 25th anniversary of my father’s recognition makes it even more special. To be associated with the many Black pioneers of golf, individuals who have fought so hard to assure the game was ever present in our community, is an honor. This is a recognition of which I am deeply proud.”

Harper said: “It humbles me that I am even considered for the National Black Golf Hall of Fame. I am standing on the shoulders of so many before me that paved the way for African Americans in the golf industry.”

Sinnette said: “I am joining a very significant group of people in the United States who have contributed to the game of golf; and especially their involvement with African Americans and their contributions to golf. I feel greatly honored to be included in this group.”

The dinner and induction ceremony will be one of three significant activities under the umbrella of the Mid Winter Golf Classic. Other events in the celebratory weekend will include the Advocates Invitational Pro Tour and Mid Winter Amateur Golf Classic, March 5-6, 2011 at historic Rogers Park Golf Course. Proceeds from the weekend benefit The First Tee of Tampa Bay’s youth golf and academic programs.

This will mark the second season for the Advocates Invitational Pro Tour, a series of three events designed to identify talented golfers of color, and to ultimately increase the number of African American professionals on the PGA Tour. The pro series is sponsored by the Advocates USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring and generating opportunities for African American individuals and communities. 

It was at Rogers Park that minority golfers gathered and celebrated throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Then, the Mid Winter Open welcomed professional and amateur golfers of all nationalities, and gave them an opportunity to showcase their talents in a festive environment. The event was an important part of what was affectionately known as the “Chitlin Circuit,” a series of events sponsored by the United Golfers Association, an organization dedicated to African American golfers. The legacy of the Mid Winter Golf Classic continues, and its heritage will again be commemorated through these three important activities. 

For more information contact John Simpson at 407.497.2233, or Mike Cooper at 813.960.0825; or visit www.rogersparkgc.com.

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Contact:
John Simpson
National Black Golf Hall of Fame
(407) 497-2233
john@nationalblackgolfhalloffame.com

Michael Cooper
The First Tee
(813) 960-0825
mcooper@thefirsttee.org