Charlie Sifford, the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour, will be laid to rest Friday in Charlotte, the city of his birth. Sifford died on Feb. 3 at the age of 92 in Warrensville, Ohio, near his adopted hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Friday’s funeral: Sifford’s funeral is 1 p.m. Friday at Moore’s Sanctuary A.M.E. Zion Church, 4101 Morris Field Dr. Visitation is Friday from noon until the funeral begins.
Thursday’s reception: Family and friends – including African-American golfers who followed in his path such as James Black of Charlotte, Calvin Peete and Walter Morgan – gathered for a reception honoring Sifford at the Revolution Sports Academy. The academy was built next to the golf course that is now called the Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park.
Speakers included Black, National Black Golf Hall of Fame president Jeff Dunovant and Steve Mona, chief executive officer of the World Golf Foundation.
Sifford’s legacy: In addition to breaking pro golf’s color barrier in 1961, Sifford won two PGA Tour events and 19 other tournaments, including the PGA Seniors’ Championship in 1975. He won the National Negro Open six times before joining the PGA Tour. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. David Scott