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Teddy Rhodes (5371 hits)

Teddy Rhodes (1913 – 1969) is considered by many historians, golf fans, and pros to be the greatest African-American golfer in the history of the sport. A native of Nashville, TN, Rhodes taught himself the essentials of the game using second-hand clubs in a city park.

His exceptional talent won the attention of boxer Joe Louis, the “Brown Bomber” who also happened to be an avid golfer. Rhodes served as an instructor for Louis, who in turn sponsored his participation in UGA tournaments. He chalked up an unbelievable 150 wins during his UGA career.

In 1948, Rhodes filed a lawsuit against the Jim Crow policies of the PGA; although PGA does not officially integrate until almost 20 years later, he becomes the first African American to play in the PGA-sponsored US Open that year. The struggle to integrate PGA went on, with Rhodes at the forefront of the movement.

He quickly became known as a mentor and coach to other aspiring golf pros such as Charlie Sifford, well-respected as the voice of experience in Black golf. Many golfers recall Terry pitching in to buy a meal or new equipment for the young athletes he ran into through his UGA travels.

As a three-time winner of the UGA Nationals, Terry Rhodes is easily one of the most familiar and respected personalities in African-American golf history.

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Monday, July 7th 2008 at 3:45PM
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