Remembering The Forgotten: Calvin Peete, The Golfer Who Paved The Way For Tiger Woods

2 Posted by - June 4, 2021 - BLACK MEN, CELEBRITIES, SPORTS

by John Thairu

Calvin Peete, who is remembered as one of the most prolific African American golfers to grace the PGA circuit, was born on July 18, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan. Unlike many golfing greats who began playing the game in childhood, Peete did not hit the fairways until he was in his early twenties. He however picked up the game very quickly and began to excel very early in his career. His first encounter with golf was in Rochester, New York where he used to peddle small items to migrant workers. He practised at a public course known as Genesee Valley Park.

In 1975, Peete earned his PGA Tour card and recorded his first tournament win at the 1979 Milwaukee Open. This made him one of only four black players who had won on a PGA Tour.

In 1983 he gained the nickname ‘Mr Accuracy’ due to his uncanny ability to make near-perfect drives on a consistent basis. All through his 87 PGA Tour rounds he was able to hit an impressive 84.55 % on the fairways. He managed to make the U.S Ryder Cup team on two occasions, first in 1983 and then in 1985. In 1986 Peete managed to rank among the top 10 players on the official world ranking which is a fete that had not been achieved by an African American player.

Unfortunately his performance began to dip in the 90’s and only participated 21 times from 1991 to 1995 when he retired from competitive sport. He however continued to participate in Legends of Golf events up until 2009.

Calvin Peete, who was suffering from lung cancer, passed on in Atlanta, Georgia on April 29, 2015.


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