Majors golfing association to give Charlie Sifford Award, ‘to recognize someone who has embodied the spirit of Charlie’

Golf News Network, the bi-annual journal that covers the sport, has created a new award, the Charlie Sifford Award, which is set to be presented every two years in the January/February issue. “The Charlie Sifford Award is designed to recognize someone who has embodied the spirit of Charlie, as he redefined the possibilities of golf for African-Americans,” according to a press release. It will be “presented to a highly respected, groundbreaking African-American professional in golf who displays the personal and professional traits that set a sustainable example for others to follow.”

The award will be based on “length, excellence and quality” — the “spirit in advancing diversity in golf” — as well as “the ability to inspire.” At a Wednesday press conference, Golf News Network CEO Carl Eaker said the golf industry had “fallen far behind its potential,” calling it “a vast failing on the part of our industry.”

Golf News Network editor Cory Schreiber said it was “not by accident” that he felt the need to create an award like this. “I was at a golf tournament two years ago at Topeka Country Club in Kansas,” he told GNN. “It was nice to see the women, the black players and their families sitting around, and everyone was hanging out and enjoying themselves.” But the week before, he said, at a U.S. Women’s Open that was held at Topeka, “women and men were not allowed to sit together.”

“It was embarrassing,” he said. “I couldn’t understand it. I started Googling ‘diversity in golf,’ and it didn’t make sense.”

Schreiber said that he wanted to “step up,” going on to say, “I feel like this sport has so much to offer. We deserve an award, and what is more powerful than the Charlie Sifford Award?”

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