African American Golfers
The Carroll Park Golf Course and the Pitch and Putt Golf Club share a storied history that triumphs today. The project honors the persistent African American golfers who sought to play golf on segregated Baltimore City-owned golf courses in the late 1930s. The Club independently raised funds to commission, design, erect, and install a free-standing outdoor brick monument with a commemorative plaque. Working collaboratively with the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, members will also install an interior museum-like wall display that depicts the historical timeline of events.
“This commemorative project gives voice to the significant contributions made by African American golfers to desegregate Baltimore City’s golf courses, and the positive value a golf course can bring to the environment, neighborhoods, economy, and citizens of the city,” —Tom Pierce, Executive Director, Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation
Set in an industrial area of the City of Baltimore, the Carroll Park Golf Course, a 65-acre property, was purchased from Carroll family descendants for a city park in 1890.
In 1923, Baltimore Parks and Recreation built a golf course on the property. Carroll Park had rolled sand for greens, requiring golfers to perfect their pitching, and putting skills. The nine-hole golf course was the only place African Americans were permitted to play, although only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the 1940s due to segregation policies at the time. Many African American men learned the game of golf by working as caddies on area courses and then became enthusiastic, skillful golfers.
After years of playing under restrictive, segregated policies, a group of avid African American golfers challenged the city to access all golf courses through several legal actions. They finally gained full access after continual persistence in the 1950s. The golfers were the catalyst for opening dialogue with elected officials and local clergy, resulting in the City of Baltimore granting open accommodations to all public recreation facilities.
In 1938, the Pitch and Putt Golf Club of Baltimore, an African American women’s golf group of 33 members, was established at Carroll Park.
“Playing golf with this dynamic group of women has been rewarding beyond any measure on many levels. Our passion for the game of golf continues while having fun at the same time. Many life-long supportive friendships have been forged on the links as we travel to area courses twice a month. The Club has a proud 83-year legacy.” —Stephanie Williams, Club President
The dedication and unveiling ceremony was held on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. at the Carroll Park Golf Course in Baltimore, Maryland to kick off Black History Month and highlight the perseverance and legacy of local African American golfers.
Key elected officials, city administrators, Pitch and Putt Golf Club members, the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation Board, and members of the Carroll Park community celebrated this momentous occasion.
A free celebratory virtual program was broadcasted online on February 15, 2022.
For more information, contact Pitch & Putt Golf Club.
In the News
Baltimore Sun - People will remember it - A monument to commemorate the Black victory to play golf in Baltimore will be unveiled at Carroll Park
Baltimore TImes - African American Women’s Golf Club builds monument to celebrate shared relationship with local golf course
Ohio University Ohio News - Citing OHIO student’s work, historic Black Baltimore golf club commemorates the desegregation of city’s golf courses with monument
WBAL-TV - Pitch and Putt commemorates efforts by African Americans to desegregate Baltimore golf courses
WBFF-TV - Carroll Park Monument to African-American Golfers
WMAR-TV - Black female golfers display memorial in light of Black History Month
CBS - Historic African American Women’s Golf Club Honored With Monument For Black History Month
PressBox on Facebook - Carroll Park Commemorates Contributions of African American Golfers