By Tim Lacy, Special to the AFRO

Jim Crow is alive and well and stalking the fairways of America’s golf courses.

Recently a foursome of Black women were attempting to enjoy a round of golf at Grandview Golf Club in York, Pa., when they were approached and informed that they were playing too slow.  Since they were only on the second hole, it seemed something was amiss.  After the ninth hole (1.5 hours later) they took the customary break.  It was then they were approached and told they had to leave.

These women are members of a golf organization, Sisters of the Fairway, and are no strangers to golf etiquette and protocol.  They have golfed all over the world, but when faced with the local police they terminated their outing.  A member of the group Sandra Harrison felt as if they had targets on their backs.  She was quoted as saying, “We were guilty of GWB (Golfing while Black).”

Sandra Thompson, right, speaks alongside Sandra Harrison, both golfers and members of a group of local women known as Sisters in the Fairway, during an interview with The Associated Press, Tuesday April 24, 2018 in York, Pa. Officials at the Grandview Golf Club in York called police on the group Saturday, accusing them of playing too slowly and holding up others behind them. On Sunday club co-owner JJ Chronister told the York Daily Record she called the women personally to “sincerely apologize.” (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

What makes the incident doubly disturbing is that York was the first capital of the United States and we have been fighting a long, bitter struggle for equality.

On the plus side, the club owner, J.J. Chronister called each of these women to apologize.

This uphill battle is nothing new.  I can remember when legendary Black golfer Charles Sifford was playing the Canadian Open and was leading the pack for a sure win which would satisfy the criteria for entry into the Masters Tournament.  Sifford was informed on the 10th tee that this win would not qualify because it wasn’t contested on U.S. soil.

Years later, Lee Elder won the Monsanto Open and gained entry.  With the flashbulbs popping and the reporters in his face, I’m surprised Lee could summon the courage to tee up his first ball.  Lee didn’t do so well.

Then along came Tiger Woods and there was a disturbance in the “Force.”  Tiger was launching rockets and shooting scores so low, golf course architects went scurrying back to their drawing boards.

Black America screamed, “Yea Tiger!”

This came to a screeching halt in 1990 when the PGA Championship was to be contested.  The venue was Shoal Creek Golf Club with a no Black membership policy.  When questioned, founder Hall W. Thompson said, “We don’t discriminate against any other ethnic groups, just Blacks.”

Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said, “To cooperate with evil is to affirm it.” This honest man, Mr. Thompson, has exposed the sophisticated layer of deceit and hypocrisy that veils the racism that still exists in our society today.

“Right on Rev!!”

White Pros detected the unrest among their sponsors and decided to answer Jim Crow with a boycott.  This worked for a minute, but you can’t fix an amputation with a Band-Aid.

To show how little progress is being made, the Charlotte Observer has pointed out that 17 sites for PGA Tour events have an all-White membership.

Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO