The African American Woman Golfer

Her Legacy
M. MIKELL JOHNSON,

Seven

The First Tee

Pioneers

The history of the African American woman golfer was shaped and molded by many women. Their contributions were gradual and the impact has never been truly appreciated in the world of golf or as a part of the history of sports.

The period of time from 1930 to the present can be divided into several pivotal segments:

It should be easy to understand the efforts of the African American woman in golf. We only have to reflect on the barriers encountered and the anguish felt by women such as Marie Thompson, Helen Webb Harris, Ann Gregory, and Althea Gibson.

The Awakening occurred in the thirties. The African American woman golfer was an oddity, and may have been tolerated or viewed as a nuisance by her spouse. A group of African American women playing competitively, on a golf course, received much ridicule. However, the United Golfers Association (UGA) occasionally allowed women to play in some of its regional tournaments. Finally, in 1930, the UGA let women compete in the Annual National Open Championship, held at the Casa Loma Golf Course, in Powers Lake, Wisconsin.

Miss Marie Thompson, an amateur from the Pioneer Club in Chicago, was the first woman to win the UGA Open Championship Women’s Division. She won the next UGA Open Championship in 1931, held at the Kankakee Golf Course in Kankakee, Illinois. Her consecutive wins in this major tournament validated the persona and the competitiveness of the African American woman golfer.

A cadre of women dominated the field of golf in Black America from 1930 to 1941. As more women began to play, their names were listed as part of the tournament roster. The women were perennial competitors, who may have represented their clubs or played as a lone maverick in regional tournaments and UGA National Open Championships. There were continuous rivalries between the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast women.

Many of the women would win one year, and then come in second or third the following year. Others would win the club title two to six times consecutively during their careers. Most likely, some would never win at all, but they continued to chase the dream. The playing fields were composed of groups of these special women from Black communities. They left their families and traveled in motorcades, for hundreds of miles during the summer months, in order to play in the tournaments. They were amateurs and were excited to be playing for the love of the game, a title, and a trophy. The title or trophy could not be cashed at the bank or traded for goods and services. They also suffered ridicule, cash flow problems, and, in some cases, family discord. The women had to pay to play. Out of pocket expenses included entry fees, travel costs, food, and lodging. All of this was just for the chance to win.

The women would travel from Boston to Atlanta, New York to Los Angeles, and from Chicago to Dallas to play in a tournament. Some of the designated tournament stops were

  • New York Open
  • New Jersey Open
  • Maryland State Open
  • Joe Louis Amateur Open
  • Pennsylvania Open
  • St. Louis Paramount
  • Chicago Golf Classic
  • Minnesota Open
  • Detroit Memorial
  • Walter Speedy Invitational
  • LA Vernondale Open
  • Cleveland 6th City Tournament
  • The media began to take notice of the groups of women as competitors, but the only biographical data given may have been as a reference to their hometown or club affiliation. Most of the written information was succinct and included only a vignette or two, but the women were consistently identified as the best women golfers in the UGA competitions. These short references would mention that the women were actively involved in a tournament. A typical mention was printed as “The Maryland State Open was won by Margaret Brown.”

    The Awakening of the African American woman golfer began in the thirties. Two groups of women made an impact on the UGA—the individual protagonists and the “women’s only” golf clubs.

    Four dynamic women acted as individual competitors and transformed the world of Black golf. They dared to be different and had the courage to compete on the insular fairways of the golf courses. They challenged the male golfer in his own arena. There were no organized feminist groups to give them the support of solidarity. But they arrived anyway with the athletic skills, the bravery, and the game plan to win multiple UGA titles.

    The women who dominated the UGA National Amateur Championships collectively won nine of the twelve UGA National Amateur Women’s Open tournaments held during that period.

    Their competitors in the fields consisted of each other, in addition to other UGA Champions: Julia Siler (1933), Melnee Moye (1938), Cleo Ball (1941), and the perennial favorites: Vivian Pitts, Sarah Smith, Margaret Brown, Thelma McTyre (Cowans), Rhoda Fowler, Ethel Terrell, and Theresa McTyre (Howell).

    The women’s clubs movement was significant because it brought something valuable to the table: organizational and people management skills. These qualities were needed by the UGA.

    The Club Factor was established when Helen Harris organized the first documented women’s club with the help of a few friends, in 1937. The Wake Robin Golf Club was not only organized for the purpose of playing golf, but to empower women to become proactive in a segregated environment. The formation of Wake Robins gave impetus for the women to organize for tournaments on local, regional, and national levels.

    The Chicago Women’s Golf Club was also organized in 1937. The chief architects of the club were Anna Mae Black (Robinson), Cleo Ball, Vivian Pitts, and Geneva Wilson. Ball and Wilson later won UGA National Women’s titles. The Chicago Women’s Golf Club is associated with many firsts. One of the most important was that it was the first to sponsor an African American amateur in a United States Golf Association (USGA) tournament.

    The Chicago Women’s Golf Club was also the first female group to sponsor a titled male event—the Walter Speedy Invitational, named after the renowned golfer and founder of the Pioneer Golf Club. This was one of the tournaments that attracted the most prominent male golfers and was sanctioned by the UGA.

    The Wake Robin Golf Club and the Chicago Women’s Golf Club still maintain active memberships and will celebrate their seventieth anniversaries in 2007. They established the model for the “women only” clubs that exist today across America.

    No UGA National tournaments were held during the World War II years of 1942 to 1945. All competitive tournaments were sponsored by local or regional clubs.

    The UGA revived the National Championships in 1946 with a post–World War II tournament in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was at this event that Lucy Williams (Mitchum) won her fourth UGA National Women’s Amateur title. The number of National Amateur title wins by one person was raised to another level for both women and men.

    Pioneers discussed in this section are

    Ella C. Able

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    There is no data describing the birthplace of Ella C. Able or her family life. It is noted that she played out of the Douglas Park Golf Club in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was among the pioneer women who competed in the first 1930 UGA National Open Women’s tournament at the Casa Loma course in Wisconsin. She also played in the next four tournaments that were open to women candidates in 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1934.

    In 1934 Able turned in the lowest score for thirty‐six holes at the Kankakee site in Illinois, to defeat Lucy Williams (Mitchum), and the 1933 defending champion, Julia Siler, for the UGA Open title. Ms. Able went on to defend the title in 1935, in Detroit, Michigan, against another stellar field.1

    It is speculated that Able played competitive golf until the cancellation of all UGA sanctioned tournaments from 1942 to 1945.

    Ella Able, the UGA Women’s Champion for 1934 and 1935, is not listed as an inductee in any of the African American Golf Halls of Fame.

    Alma Arvin

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    Alma Arvin is the personification of what it is to maintain a positive demeanor in the face of adversity during a competitive situation. She was able to demonstrate this with the class of a lady and the professionalism of an athlete at the 1956 UGA National Open Women’s Championship.

    Alma Arvin and Thelma Cowans, the 1955 defending champion, were scheduled to compete for the 1956 championship trophy and title. Arvin had completed nine holes of the tournament before Cowans appeared on the tenth hole. Ms. Arvin was declared the winner by default when Cowans did not show up for the tournament on time. Cowans, however, refused to admit defeat or to relinquish the title to Alma Arvin.

    Although the Rules Committee was remiss in their responsibilities to Ms. Arvin, she willingly gave up the title and trophy and agreed to play an additional eighteen holes in match play with Mrs. Cowans. Cowans won the match by one up. Even with protests by the other women contestants, the Rules Committee let Cowans retain the UGA title and the trophy for 1956.

    The actions of Ms. Arvin brought unity out of chaos, and saved the UGA from an embarrassing situation. She chose a second place finish, even though she had won the championship on the first tee. Her decision is historic, in that she put the success of the tournament first. Her decision is a perfect example of why one’s dignity is more important than a trophy and title. She is still a champion among her peers.2

    Cleo Ball

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    Cleo Ball was never inducted into the United Golfers’ Hall of Fame; however she did make an impact on the organization with her win at the 1941 UGA Open tournament.

    Cleo was one of the “perennial innovators” of the Chicago Women’s Golf Club. She was instrumental in promoting competitive golf among women throughout the Midwestern states. She was also the wife of Robert “Pat” Ball.

    Robert “Pat” Ball was the golf professional at the Palos Hill Golf Club in Chicago, and was recognized as one of the best golfers in the UGA, with three championship wins in 1927, 1929, and 1934.

    In August 1941, Cleo and Pat became the first husband and wife competitors to win major national titles. Cleo won the Open Women’s Championship, and Pat won the Professional Men’s Championship title. The tournament was held at the Ponkapong Course in Canton, outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

    Mrs. Ball had captured her first and only major title, the 1941 UGA Women’s Open Championship. The newspapers described the husband and wife feat as “the Ball Family Affair.”3

    Paris Brown

    United Golfers Association Tournament Director

    Paris Toomer was born November 15, 1901, in Byron, Georgia. She obtained her education at the Cooke Normal School in St. Louis, Missouri. She married Edgar Brown, and lived her adult life in Washington, D.C.

    Her interest in golf began in 1930. She was a founding member of the Wake Robin Golf Club for Colored Women in 1937. Brown was elected the second president of the club in 1939. She became a WRGC delegate to the UGA and was elected the third vice president of the UGA in 1941. This was a first for women in the male‐dominated UGA.

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    Paris Brown. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.


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    Paris Brown was inducted into the UGA National Afro‐American Hall of Fame in 1963. A copy of the embellished plaque could not be obtained, but here is a facsimile. (UGA Hall of Fame, 1963 inscription. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.)


    Brown was also elected as the first director of UGA tournaments in 1954. She perfected the rules and responsibilities of the players, scorers, and officials. Printed copies of the rules were distributed to all participants, their clubs, and especially to tournament officials. She emphasized that all members should know the rules to prevent errors, time lapses, disorganization of tournament strategy, and poor performance by the players. She ran the tournaments with such perfection that she remained the tournament director for ten years (1954–1964).

    Paris Toomer Brown was inducted into the National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1963.

    Mae Crowder

    Founder, Vernondale and Vernoncrest Golf Clubs

    The mention of the name Mae Crowder evokes the label “The Lady Who Had a Dream that became True,” for forming a golf club composed predominantly of black women represented, indeed, a dream come true. Mae Crowder

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    Mae Crowder, Anita Shumate, Kay Murray, and Ruth Gardner (1952). Photograph courtesy of the Vernoncrest Golf Club.


    organized the Vernondale Women’s Golf Club in 1947, along with nine other enthusiastic golfing ladies of Los Angeles. This group of women, with Mae Crowder as founder and president, became the first Black women’s golf club on the West Coast. The Vernondale Club eventually changed its name to the Vernoncrest Golf Club.

    Mrs. Crowder also shared in giving her full support toward the birth of a united Western States Golf Association (WSGA), which provided an umbrella structure to the many splintered groups from the Midwest to the West Coast. The historic meeting was held at her home in 1953, and she was appointed chairperson of the Junior Golf Program, which she developed into an outstanding and credible asset to the Association.

    As a successful businesswoman, Mrs. Crowder was able to guide the fledgling golf organization by providing the basic managerial, financial, legal, and logistic skills necessary to form a core of diverse, individual golf clubs into the largest active African American golf association in the United States.

    Mrs. Mae Crowder was inducted into the Western States Golf Association Hall of Fame for her outstanding contributions and services to the Association from its inception.

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    Mae Crowder giving lesson number 2. Photograph courtesy of the Vernoncrest Golf Club.


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    Mae Crowder giving lesson number 3. Photograph courtesy of the Vernoncrest Golf Club.


    Helen Webb Harris

    Founder, Wake Robin Golf Club

    Helen Webb Harris was one of the original founders of the Wake Robin Golf Club, and served as the first president. The purposes of the WRGC were to encourage Negro women to become involved in the game, in an effort to obtain social and political parity in the community.

    Under Harris’s leadership the organization became a member of the UGA and the Eastern Golf Association. The women were very active in the desegregation of golf clubs in the Washington, D.C area. The persistence of the women made it possible for the Langston Golf Course to be built to accommodate their activities.

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    Helen Webb Harris. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.


    The organizational acumen of Harris led to her being the first woman elected to the presidency of the Eastern Golf Association. Other firsts for the Wake Robin Golf Club under her guidance were

    Harris was inducted into the National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1973.

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    Wake Robin Golf Club, ca. 1940: Lorraine Smith, Sara Smith, Clara Reed, Bonita Harvey, Paris Brown, Amelia Lucas, Frankie Watkins, Helen Harris, Hazel Foreman, Jerenia Reid, Adelaide Adams. The photograph was taken at the Langston Golf Course in Washington, D.C. The 9‐hole Langston Golf Course was opened on June 9, 1939. After many years of neglect by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the course was renovated and reopened as an 18‐hole facility in 1955. The course is still thriving with a diverse ethnic patronage. The Langston Golf Course was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.


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    Wake Robin Golf Club 60th Anniversary Tournament Committee, 1997: Elizabeth Brabble, president; Richetta Johnson; Paulette Savoy; Julia Pettross; Claudette Flukus; Ruby Felix, 60th Anniversary Chairman; Winifred Stanford; and Lois Hall. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.


    Lucy Williams Mitchum

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    The life and times of Lucy Williams Mitchum are rather obscure in that there does not seem to be any biographical information about her. She appears as one of those ephemeral people whose spirit just lingers as an aura. However, her understanding of the game and her prowess with the golf clubs speaks for her existence and a place in history.4

    Mitchum, like Thelma Cowans, was part of the Midwest golf contingent, which included such notable golfers as Marie Thompson, Ann Gregory, and Julia Siler. Mitchum was from Indianapolis. She probably played out of the African American Douglas Park Golf Course and Club.

    The name of Lucy Williams first appeared as one of the women who played in the inaugural UGA National Open Women’s Championship held at Casa Loma, Wisconsin. She was awarded the Henry R. Johnson women’s trophy for her second place finish. Lucy Mitchum came in second again in 1931 when the tournament was held in Chicago.

    The time for Lucy Williams to make history was in 1932, when the UGA Open was held in her hometown of Indianapolis. The first and second places for the UGA Women’s Championship were reversed. Lucy Williams had finally defeated Marie Thompson for the major title and trophy. The field also included Marion McGruder, Thelma Blanton, Lucille McKee, Anna Mae Johnson, Cookie Hamilton, Ada Bolton, Cleo Halloway, and Julia Siler.

    Lucy Williams came in second during the next three years—in 1933 to Julia Siler, and in 1934 and 1935 to Ella Abel. She bounced back quickly and reclaimed her place among the top female contenders. Lucy Williams won the 1936 UGA National Open Women’s title when it was held in Philadelphia and defended the 1937 UGA title when the Open was held in Cleveland.

    Lucy Williams was always in contention for the Open Championships from 1938 to 1941. Then, after the “war years,” she picked up the pace again and won the first postwar 1946 UGA National Open Women’s Championship in Pittsburgh.

    Although Mitchum was never elected to the UGA/National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame, she won the National Women’s Open Championship four times:

  • 1932 in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1946 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • She was the first golfer, male or female, to claim that honor.
  • Lucy Williams Mitchum also has the distinction of being in the first Joe Louis Open Women’s Championship in 1946 and winning the title.

    Melnee Moye

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    Melnee Moye was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She played as an amateur in the UGA women’s tournaments for three years as an unknown neophyte. There is no record as to which club she belonged, but Atlanta did have a strong women’s contingent that consisted of the McTyre sisters: Thelma (Cowans) and Theresa (Howell).

    After many hours of grueling practice, and disappointments in competitive rounds, Ms. Moye won her first major victory. She utilized all of her energy, stamina, and hopes as she won the ninth annual UGA Women’s Amateur Championship in 1938. Ms. Moye defeated a stellar field which included former UGA women champions such as Marie Thompson (1930, 1931), Lucy Williams (1932, 1936, 1937), Julia Siler (1933), Ella Able (1934, 1935), and future champions Geneva Wilson (1939, 1940) and Cleo Ball (1941).5

    Anna Mae Black Robinson

    Founder, Chicago Women’s Golf Club

    Anna Mae Black was one of the original founders of the Chicago Women’s Golf Club, with Cleo Ball and Vivian Pitts. She served as president in 1937, and held the office for three terms until the end of 1939. She was also elected the fourth vice president of the UGA at its 1944 annual meeting.

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    Anna Mae Black Robinson. Photograph courtesy of the Chicago Women’s Golf Club.


    Robinson, Ella Williams, and Birdie Philpott petitioned Cook County for privileges to play at the Pipe O’ Peace Golf Club. After many appeals, permission was granted to the CWGC to use the Pipe O’Peace facilities, and the course became the official CWGC tournament site in 1952.

    Robinson also saw a need to recognize African American golfers of the era and began a campaign for a UGA Hall of Fame. Through her undaunting efforts the UGA/National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame was established in 1959, as a tribute to all minority golfers.

    The CWGC elected Anna Mae Robinson as their thirteenth president in 1960; she served another three terms from 1960–62. During this tenure she was able to gain the support of the Borden Milk Company as a sponsor for the CWGC National Invitational Golf Tournament. Borden was their first corporate sponsor, but not their last.

    Anna Mae Black Robinson was inducted into the National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1962.

    Julia Towns Siler

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    Julia Towns Siler is another golfer that all of the historians mention in the realm of African American golf history. She represented the St. Louis group of women golfers. She and her husband George were charter members of the Atwater Golf Club in St. Louis.

    Julia Towns Siler is credited with over 100 title wins in her amateur career. Most of them were probably in local and regional tournament events. However, her name can be found among the contenders, in the annual United Golfers Association National Open Women’s Championships, as late as the 1950s. She won the Senior women’s title in the 1959 UGA National Open held in Washington DC (Afro American, September 19, 1959, 24).

    Her most victorious moment and highlight of her career occurred in 1933. The UGA National Open Championships were held at the Sunset Hills Country Club in Chicago. A September 9, 1933 photograph caption reads “Golf ’s King and Queen.” And, there is Julia Siler standing, under the U.S. flag, shaking hands with Howard Wheeler. The newspaper article used only two sentences to describe the victory: “Mrs. Julia Siler is the new women’s champion, defeating last year’s champion, Miss Lucy Williams, of Indianapolis. Miss Marie Thompson, Chicago placed third.”6

    Julia Towns Siler was inducted into the National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1964. As with others of her genre, the documentation as to why she was elected to the Hall of Fame is lost forever.

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    Sarah Smith, 1997. Photograph courtesy of the Wake Robin Golf Club Archives.


    Sarah Smith

    Wake Robin Golf Club Champion

    The Wake Robin Golf Club for Colored Women of Washington, D.C. was formed in 1937. As a result, a star was born: Sarah Smith. Smith was the first Wake Robin Golf Club member to win the Club championship title in consecutive years, 1937 and 1938. She also won the title in 1940 and 1945. Although, her record of consecutive titles has been surpassed by several members, Smith made history by being the first.

    Ms. Smith also made golf history at the 1941 UGA National Open by earning the Open Women’s Medalist title. She was in a field of competitors that included Julia Siler, Lucy Williams, and Vivian Pitts, when Cleo and Pat Ball won the UGA Open Championship titles.

    A list of some of her other golf accomplishments include

    Marie Thompson

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    It is not known if Marie Thompson was a native of Chicago. The only initial information relative to her existence was that she was a member of the Pioneer Club located in Chicago, Illinois.

    In 1930 she was one of a small contingent of women who opted to play in the UGA National Open tournament held in Casa Loma, Wisconsin. Miss Thompson won the 1930 UGA National Open Women’s Championship against a field that included Lucy Williams (Mitchum), Esther Smith, Pearl Dorn, and Lucille McKee. She was awarded the Belle Beauty Salon trophy.9

    It is obvious that all golfers were stunned when the same woman showed up at the 1931 UGA National Open tournament held in Kankakee, Illinois. Her chief competition included Lucy Williams of Indianapolis, who was in second place, and Elizabeth Grove of the New York City New Amsterdam Golf Club, who secured the third place finish. But, it was Marie Thompson who had won the UGA National Open Women’s Championship for a second time.10

    The newspaper headlines said it all: “McCoy defeats Frierson for amateur title, Miss Marie Thompson retains crown,” and “Edison Marshall and Marie Thompson win.” A photograph with the caption “Wins Again” shows the image of a petite Miss Thompson, dressed in a dark skirt with a white blouse and carrying her clubs in a cloth “Sunday bag.”

    Marie Thompson always remained in the top ten positions in the UGA National Open Women’s Championship flights from 1932 to 1941.

    In the meantime, Miss Thompson married a postal clerk with the surname of Jones, and eventually relocated to Detroit, Michigan. In Detroit, she became a pivotal force in the formation of, and the success of the Amateur Golfer’s Association (AGA). Mrs. Marie Thompson (Jones) won three straight AGA Women’s titles in 1931, 1932, and 1933. Her fourth documented AGA title was won in 1941.

    As with most of the African American women pioneers, her path to golf immortality was stopped cold by the tournament hiatus of the UGA National Open Championships from 1942 to 1945 (the World War II years).

    Marie Thompson (Jones) was a woman golfer who dared to be different as early as 1930, a time frame, in the annals of golf, of seventy‐seven years. Yet, no one knows of her or remembers her name.

    Marie Thompson (Jones), the UGA National Open Women’s Champion of 1930 and 1931, has not been recognized by any of the African American Golf Halls of Fame for her initial historic and unprecedented ventures in the game of golf.

    Agnes Williams

    Junior Program Advocate, Chicago Women’s Golf Club

    During the Chicago Women’s Golf Club presidency of Geraldine Williams, Agnes Williams dared to discuss the possibility of creating a club‐sponsored junior golf program. In 1954, with overwhelming support, Williams became the founder and director of the CWGC’s Bob‐O‐Links junior division. The goal of the program was to teach youth the fundamentals of the golf game. The first group of participants were the children of members and their friends. The job of coach was assigned to the local pro, Archie Knuckles. The Bob‐O‐Links was the only official junior club program in existence in Chicago, and probably in Black communities throughout the country.

    Williams became the most vocal advocate for the formation of a national minority junior golf program to include minority youth from all areas and all clubs within the United States. She felt that this type of inclusion would bring more juniors into the mix for exposure to the public golf arena, and assist them in learning fundamentals that would carry them to national tournament level

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    Agnes Williams. Photograph courtesy of the Chicago Women’s Golf Club.


    events. She used her personal time and financial resources to take juniors to various practice facilities and tournaments. Williams was also the guiding force behind the origin of the UGA/Midwest District Junior Championship, which provided a competitive stage for her Bob‐O‐Links. She was elected to the National Afro‐American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1967.

    Geneva Wilson

    United Golfers Association National Open Champion

    Geneva Wilson represents the Chicago Women’s Golf Club as a charter member. She was also a driving force in the creation of the Bob‐O‐Links youth golf initiative established in 1954.

    Her competitive golf game was so good that she was in the 1938 UGA National Open Women’s Championship flight. The field of sixteen women also included Cleo Ball, Vivian Pitts, Anna Mae Robinson, Marie Thompson, Lucy Williams, and Julia Siler.

    Geneva Wilson had come close in the 1938 tournament held at Palos Park in Chicago, but was out of position to her fellow Chicago Women’s Golf Club companions. Melnee Moye of Atlanta was the 1938 champion, Vivian Pitts was second, and Cleo Ball placed third.

    She vaulted to the top of the 1939 UGA National Women’s Open Championship, held at the Harding Golf Course in Burbank, California. She defeated Aline Davis of Chicago for the 1939 championship. The field also included her Chicago Women’s Golf Club compatriots, Cleo Ball who came in second, Vivian Pitts who placed third, and Anna Mae Robinson. UGA Champions Lucy Williams, Melnee Moye, Julia Siler, and Marie Thompson were also vying for the title that year.

    Geneva Wilson rallied again to the forefront of the 1940 UGA National Open Women’s Championship held at the Palos Park Golf Course in Chicago. She won the Championship again in 1940 and is one of ten women to have accomplished the feat of back‐to‐back wins at this major tournament. Geneva Wilson had to defeat Lucy Williams for the title and the trophy. Williams had defeated Marie Thompson and Juanita Scott of New York City to enter into the final championship match with Geneva Wilson.

    The Chicago Women’s Golf Club fabulous foursome of Cleo Ball, Vivian Pitts, Anna Mae Robinson, and Geneva Wilson entered into the final 1941 UGA National Open Women’s Championship. No UGA National Opens were to be held during the World War II years of 1942 to 1945.

    As fate would have it, Cleo Ball, a Chicago Women’s Golf Club member, won the 1941 UGA National Open Women’s Championship. Her other club member associate, Vivian Pitts, also made a good showing by coming in second, and Geneva Wilson was among the golfers in the championship flight. The women of the Chicago Women’s Golf Club were among the best of the pre‐war era.

    The lifetime achievements of Ms. Wilson, as with many of her contemporaries, are waiting to be discovered by a lucky and fortunate golf enthusiast.

    The two‐time UGA National Open Women’s Champion has not been inducted into any golf hall of fame.



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    The African American Woman Golfer -- : Her Legacy

    MLA

    " The First Tee ." The African American Woman Golfer : Her Legacy. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2008. The African American Experience. Greenwood Publishing Group. 22 Dec 2014. <http://testaae.greenwood.com/doc.aspx?fileID=C34904&chapterID=C34904-595&path=books/greenwood>

    Chicago Manual of Style

    " The First Tee ." In The African American Woman Golfer : Her Legacy, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2008. The African American Experience. Greenwood Publishing Group. http://testaae.greenwood.com/doc.aspx?fileID=C34904&chapterID=C34904-595&path=books/greenwood. (accessed December 22, 2014).