BALTIMORE — It’s the first day of Black History Month and to honor the rich history of African American culture one of the oldest golf clubs in the country debuted a new statue to highlight the history of their organization.
Tuesday “Pitch & Putt” golf club organized by a group of African American women held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Carroll Park Golf Course.
Stephanie Williams, president of Pitch & Putt said the ceremony was to unveil a new monument which shows the significant history of black golfers at Carroll Park golf course.
“For me it was very informative to know all of the struggles that the club has been through in the years that we were trying to get established,” Williams said.
Club members like Maddie Gaines who’ve participated for more than 20 years said in the late 1930’s, many African American golfers were persistent in their fight to desegregate Baltimore City owned golf courses, which were highly segregated at the time.
“Just the struggles that we have come through as a race not just for golf but for everything and to see something like this happen for a group of Black women, it is extraordinary, it’s very it’s heartwarming,” Gaines said.
Pitch & Putt was established at Carroll Park Golf course almost 84 years ago, and it’s the second African American female golf club in the country.
“I almost get tears in my eyes when I think about the timeline as well as the monument,” Williams said.
Williams said the club raised funds to design and install a free standing brick monument with a memorial plaque highlighting the persistence it took to get to this very moment.
“So I’m hoping that young people take away the fact that persistence will gain you rewards if you stick with it and just like the game of golf you have to practice, practice, practice, to get better. Also, I think just the fact that we have a monument standing here now is a testament to the women of this golf club and everything that we’ve been through to get to this point,” Williams said.
City leaders alike like John Bullock who’s the councilman for District 9 where Carroll Park resides said what’s even more monumental is they get to share this win and educate the community on the first day of black history month.
“The park itself is a jewel in Baltimore City and then thinking about this golf course and so there were times when folks didn’t have the opportunity to play the game, and now being able to do it, it’s something that it’s a benefit for the community,” Bullock said.