The inaugural legends lunch held on the lawn at Ocean View Golf Clubhouse kicked of the Black Golf Weekend hosted by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
BTA Chairman Wayne Caines hailed the event as an outstanding pre-quil and introduced an abbreviated schedule caused by cancellations of the original organizer due to the COVID escalation – but the show went on and set a solid foundation for future years
Bermuda’s first member on PGA European Tour Kim Swan JP MP gave a heartfelt account of how institutional racism in golf was a deliberate construct with the introduction of the Caucasian Only Rule in golf from 1934 – 1961 coinciding with the start of The Masters by Bobby Jones also in 1934.
Swan shared: “ the ‘Caucasian Only’ was by design to exclude Black Athletes from the inner workings of golf and by extension Blacks we’re systematically kept from the business connections that occured through golf.
What’s worst, it took the Masters 16 years after the rescinding of the Caucasian Rule to finally admit a golfer of African decent – Lee Elder in 1976. “
MP Swan recalled the jubilation he felt when the Bermuda Government Department of Culture released the documentary on Louis Rafael ’Kid’ Corbin, the result of extensive research by Dr Jeffrey Sammons, Proffessor of History at New York University. He was overjoyed when
afforded the honour to hit the ceremonial first tee shot at the 2019 PGA Tour Bermuda Championship. But he remains gutted by the Blackout of that occurred following that ceremonial event.
Ironically, the same Masters Tournament copied the ceremonial event at Augusta National a year later.
Member of Parliament Kim Swan passionately shared that the Snub of his ceremonial first shot and tribute to the Black Golfers Denied Access to Golf at a PGA Tour event is a modern day example that we still have racism in our midst.
Swan considers the Blackout of the tribute he gave as a testament that we still have a long way to go combating modern day institutional racism which can conveniently lie dormant.