Jim Dent to headline speakers for Pete Brown Diamond Jubilee at Falconhead Resort

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The Turner’s Lodge Pro Golf Museum at Falconhead Resort has announced the speakers for the “Pete Brown Diamond Jubilee” on May 1.

The event marks the 60th anniversary of the 1964 Waco Turner Open where Pete Brown became the first African American golfer to win a PGA Tour event.

The tournament sponsor was Waco Turner, who built Turner’s Lodge and golf course, the forerunner to Falconhead Resort.

The program will take place at 12:30 p.m. around the 18th green and is open to the public.

Guests will learn about Pete Brown’s career and character and what it took for Black golfers to overcome the “Caucasian-only” membership clause, adopted by the PGA in 1934, that kept them off the Tour until the 1962 season.

The speakers include:

Jim Dent, Augusta, GA, is an African American trailblazer like Pete Brown and Charlie Sifford, ultimately winning nine million dollars playing professional golf. He and Brown started a lifelong friendship in 1970, Dent’s rookie year on the PGA Tour. At age 84, Dent is traveling from Augusta, GA to be on the program. “I wouldn’t miss this day,”  he said.

Jay Upchurch, Norman, brings a 30-year career as a sportswriter. He was the last Oklahoma journalist to interview Brown, and will read excerpts from his article and interview notes.

Peter May will speak and sign copies of  his 2024 book, Changing the Course – How Charlie Sifford and Stanley Mosk Integrated the PGA. The Foreword is by Gary Player. May, from New Hampshire, is a longtime sportswriter for the Boston Globe, New York Times, and ESPN.

Ramona Harriet, Ocala, FL, research historian and CEO of the Institute of African American Golf History, will speak and sign copies of her 2015 book, “A Missing Link in History: The Journey of African Americans in Golf.” Dent wrote the Afterword. The book is dedicated to their good friends Pete Brown and Charlie Sifford.

Howard Williams, Atlanta, GA, founded the African American Sports Museum.

Sandy Cross, Frisco, TX, is Chief People Officer of the PGA of America.

Pete Brown died in 2015, but he will be represented on May 1 by his wife, Margaret Brown, 84, Dayton, OH, and other family members.

Love County’s Melodie Schaffer and her granddaughter Ava Curbow will sing the National Anthem and “Oklahoma.”


 

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Ken MacLeod

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