Memorial commemorates desegregation of Baltimore golf courses

A memorial project gives voice to the important contribution of African-American golfers to the desegregation of Baltimore city-owned golf courses in the 1930s.The African-American Women’s Golf Club, Pitch and Putt Golf Club of Baltimore , unveiled a monument on Tuesday to commemorate the significant history of African-American golfers at the Carroll Park Golf Course. plaque on the monument. The club raised funds to pay for the monument. and Parks) for everyone in the city,” Williams told 11 News The city of Baltimore was racially divided in the 1930s. There were numerous legal challenges to the golf course’s segregation policy. In 1934, black golfers won a small victory that allowed them limited access to the club.Four years later, Pitch and Putt formed a co-ed club at Carroll Park. “We came up with this name because, in 1938, or before we established ourselves as a club, the only thing we could do in Monday, Wednesday and Friday lessons was throw and putt practice. We couldn’t play a full game,” Williams said. So many people don’t know that it was difficult to access public spaces, not just in Baltimore, but everywhere. But in Baltimore it was a particular struggle, and it was made clear that some people would have some access to some recreational facilities,” said Brenda Coburn Smith, the club’s senior coordinator for the monument project. Black golfers were granted access to the entire city of Baltimore. course in 1948. In the late 1960s, the co-ed Pitch and Putt Golf Club split off and reorganized as an all-women’s club retaining its name. The club is the second oldest African-American women’s golf club in the nation. | MORE: WBAL-TV’s Black History Month Reports 11

A memorial project gives voice to the important contributions made by African American golfers to the desegregation of Baltimore’s city-owned golf courses in the 1930s.

The African American Women’s Golf Club, Pitch and Putt Golf Club of Baltimoreunveiled a monument on Tuesday to commemorate the important history of African-American golfers at the Carroll Park Golf Course.

“Carroll Park Golf Course, the city-owned course, was purchased in 1923 for white golfers only,” Stephanie Williams, president of the Pitch and Putt Golf Club of Baltimore, read on the monument plaque.

The club raised funds to pay for the monument.

“This monument has been a long time coming. We just wanted to recognize the struggles we’ve been through and how we’ve been the catalyst to open up (Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks) for everyone in the city,” said Williams at 11 News

The city of Baltimore was racially divided in the 1930s. There were numerous legal challenges to the golf course’s segregation policy. In 1934, black golfers won a small victory that allowed them limited access to the club. Four years later, Pitch and Putt formed a co-ed club in Carroll Park.

“We came up with this name because in 1938, or before we established ourselves as a club, the only thing we could do on the courts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays was to practice throwing and putting. We couldn’t play a full game,” Willams said.

“So many people don’t know that it was a struggle to access public spaces, not just in Baltimore, but everywhere. But in Baltimore, it was a particular struggle, and it was clear that some people would have certain access to certain recreational facilities,” said Brenda Coburn Smith, the club’s senior coordinator for the monument project.

Black golfers were granted access to all Baltimore City courses in 1948. In the late 1960s, the co-ed Pitch and Putt Golf Club spun off and reorganized as an all-women’s club retaining its name . The club is the second oldest African-American women’s golf club in the nation.

| FOLLOWING: WBAL-TV 11 Black History Month Reports

Michael C. Ford