Mobile museum rolls through history of African American golfers
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s already been a lot of talk about history this week at Augusta National, especially with Lee Elder named as an honorary starter for next year.
And there’s a chance for you to learn more about the impact he had on the game, along with so many others, in a pretty cool RV around town.
During the biggest golf tournament of the year, the Junior Golf league learned a little history.
“African American golf history goes back into the 1800s into the slavery days. And so, we tell that story. We tell not just about the ones that played on tour, and they did incredible things, but we tell stories about the ones that have worked also in the industry,” Ramona Harriet said.
Harriet is the founder of ‘Epochs of Courage: African-Americans in golf,’ an RV that highlights golfers and hopes to inspire new ones.
The moving RV stopped in Augusta this week to give a peek at what will be the first-ever golf museum on wheels.
“They can social distance, they can walk around the RV, they will be able to read and look at the images and read the text and learn about the history,” Harriet explained.
From caddies to playing in the Masters, Harriet plans to share the history of black golfers across the country. And she was joined by some who lived through the history
“There were golfers before there was Tiger Woods. A lot of kids, all they saw was Tiger Woods, and that’s all they know. So we’re trying to educate them to let them know that somebody preceded,” said Arthur Johnson, a former professional golf manager.
Johnson was the manager of golf champion Calvin Pete, and he also accompanied Lee Elder during the 1975 Masters, the first time a black golfer had ever played in the tournament.
“Can you imagine going to the Masters in ’75? You know, no one of color had ever played there so when Lee teed off. I felt like I was teeing off with him,” Johnson said.
And kids like Lathan Grissett and Kierston Brinson, golfers in Junior Golf League, say this experience taught them a lot
“Seeing that a couple of years ago. Not very many black people were able to play golf. And that ... it’s a big impact that we are able to play golf so it’s overall a good experience.”
Before they head back home, the RV will make two more stops in Augusta on Wednesday. They’ll be at the first tee ceremony and stop by the Augusta Boys & Girls Club.
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