Changing the Face of the Game

As the 2023 PGA Masters Tournament approaches, we look back nearly 50 years to one that changed the game forever. In 1975, Lee Elder’s first drive became a statement that golf truly is a game for all people.

While the PGA lifted its color barrier in 1961, it took 13 years for the first black man to play the Masters. One by one Lee took every other barrier in stride and never lost sight of his goal. We can learn a few lessons from how Lee approached life to improve our game, as well as the game itself.

The Power of Determination. 

Elder's bravery in the face of adversity is a reminder that anything is possible with a little courage. His determination is an example that every small step takes us closer to something greater. Whether it's relentlessly working on your short game or making sure your voice is heard, every day presents a new challenge. Sticking to your goals and dreams will see you through.

The Importance of Breaking Barriers.

Barriers come in all sizes, but they are all equally important. We should acknowledge the small barriers Lee broke along the way to winning the Masters. Walking into clubs where he wasn’t welcome. Jeers from the crowd. And so many more we will never be aware of. His bravery and fortitude in the face of adversity paved the way for future generations.

The Value of Giving Back

Elder never lost sight of the importance of giving back. Throughout his life, he pushed for equal opportunities. He used his accomplishments to raise awareness about the struggles of minority communities. His commitment to making a difference in the game is a testament to the positive impact that one person can have on others.

When the very first player tees off at the 2023 PGA Masters Tournament, we should take a moment to reflect on how the game has changed. The field is as diverse as ever, with players from all walks of life. And while many barriers have been broken, there are many more to take on together.

Photo by Brandon Williams on Unsplash

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