We Salute Ben Davis
February 19, 1912 – April 9, 2013
Who’s Ben Davis?
He was the first African American to serve as a head pro at a city owned golf course
Born Erellon Ben Davis in Pensacola, FL, moved to Detroit in 1925
In 1936, Davis began giving golf lessons at Pine Crest Driving Range in Ferndale, MI
In 1952, working for Rackham Golf Course, he became an icon and taught for more than 50 years
Just 5 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball
Why is this an accomplishment?
Because back in 1952 …
What percentage of the golf population in the US was White?
My guess … 99%
What % of golf clubs excluded anyone darker skinned than White?
At that time, in some parts of this country …
We had separate schools, bathrooms, stores, etc
If they’re not allowing you to go to school with White kids … you think they’d let Ben Davis play their golf course?
As a PGA Member for close to 20 years …I can’t imagine the struggles he must’ve had to fight through back in that era!
Thank you Ben for helping open the door to diversity in golf
This is a wonderfully written article by the President & CEO of Henry Ford Hospital
As he took lessons from Ben …