The Tee Divas and Tee Dudes (TDTD) Golf Club celebrated Black Golf History with their third annual Celebration Brunch. The youth golfers not only honored golf pioneers like Charlie Sifford but also showed their gratitude towards TDTD and the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) for providing them with opportunities.
“We wanted our juniors to understand the importance of Black golfers in our history,” said TDTD junior chairperson Jenny Bethune. “We’re honoring the Southern California Golf Association for their work with us and their junior foundation … many of our kids have received scholarships and golf opportunities from the SCGA.”
California senator Steven Bradford attended the event to share his experiences golfing with Sifford and Jim Brown at the Chester Washington golf course, the Maggie Hathaway golf course, golfer Bill Spiller, and golf tee inventor Dr. George Grant.
Bradford was instrumental in getting the street leading to the Chester Washington golf course named after Sifford and having a plaque about Sifford installed at the course’s clubhouse.
“I grew up playing golf here at Chester Washington, so I know importance of not only Black history but the role the African Americans played in golf,” Bradford said. “Tee Divas and Tee Dudes, what they’ve done over the decades to expose young folks in golf and especially minorities, I’m always in support of that.”
TDTD also awarded Monique Thomas and Dontya Bell with the TDTD Most Improved Junior Golfers award.
“I’ve worked really hard to get where I’m at now in the game of golf,” Bell said. “Tee Divas and Tee Dudes, they’ve helped a lot of kids, it’s great to see the impact that they’re having on all the juniors all my friends.”
Thomas was one of the presenters, telling the history of TDTD and the impact the club had on her life.
“Golf has given me so many skills mentally and given me people skills,” Thomas said. “I’m so happy that I got this award, I do think that I have improved a lot over the year.”
The event included a silent auction, a raffle to fundraise for the junior golfers. The Brunch also included a “One and Done” table of golf outfits, shoes, and equipment that the juniors to take for free.
On every table there was an iconic golfer, including Tiger Woods, Harold Varner III, Ann Gregory, Theodore “Ted” Rhodes and Alton Duhan.
“I am inspired with how golf works to build communities,” said SCGA board of directors’ vice president Steve Waszak. “Any place where that’s happening, I love being there.”
Several golf programs were in attendance, including the Inland Golf Academy (IGA). TDTD and IGA started a partnership in 2022.
“We’re trying to advance the kids to the higher level in golf, which is the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour,” said IGA founder and director Greg Prator. “What we do is we receive grant money and put on fundraisers so that we can help pay entry fees for tournaments.”