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Sun, 11.09.1913

Teddy Rhodes was a great golfer

Teddy Rhodes

*The birth of Ted Rhodes is marked on this date in 1913. He was an African American golfer.

From Nashville, Tennessee, Rhodes grew up during segregated times in the south as part of a poor family. He began his golf career as a 12-year-old caddie in his segregated hometown teaching himself the game with a discarded two-iron in a city park, a twig stuck in the grass, his flagstick. He caught the attention of the golf-crazed Joe Louis in 1946 and then becoming the Brown Bomber's personal golf instructor in exchange for sponsorship. Rhodes was the brightest star of the post-war United Golf Association, winning 150 times on the Black-run summer tour, a golfing equivalent of baseball's Negro Leagues.

He played in the U. S. Open, in 1948, shooting 70 in the first round at Riviera before fading into the pack behind winner Ben Hogan. Rhodes was a quiet victim of the PGA's deceit and fraud in keeping the games country clubs Caucasian until it finally stooped to public pressure and the courts in 1961. Rhodes died on July 4, 1969 in Nashville. Two years after his death, Nashville officials renamed the nine-hole Cumberland Golf Course after him. In 1993, the city christened an 18-hole daily-fee layout in his honor. In 1998 he was inducted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame.

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