As we celebrate Black History Month and honor the life and legacy of Charlie Sifford, the barrier-breaking Black golfer who died last week (see previous post), it is the perfect time to take a peek at the exciting soon-to-be-released “Vintage Golf” series by John Holyfield. This new collection of limited edition giclees on canvas will be available in 2 sizes: a medium size (roughly 14″ width by 28″ height); and a large size (roughly 20″ width by 40″ height).
There is ample documentation that beginning with Reconstruction, African Americans and golf have a long, rich history. In this collection, recreating the artistic style of vintage poster art, John Holyfield takes a nostalgic look back at that association.
Prominently featured in Holyfield’s paintings are African American women golfers, a demographic all but overlooked in the sport. A historical note: since only three black women, Althea Gibson, Renee Powell, and LaRee Pearl Sugg, have had notable success on the professional golf tour, it has been assumed that black women have not played golf but there is historical documentation of the existence of African American women associated with golf on an amateur or professional level. There were black women clubs in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and other cities from as early as the 1930’s and black women golfers traveled all over the country to participate in tournaments, bringing many of the top golfers together in high level competitions.