My Experiences as a Black, Female Golfer

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 The idea of playing Golf didn’t occur to me until the summer before I entered high school. Besides, what type of 21st century teenager, blessed with technology, played golf? However, the proposition of the scholarship money that I could potentially earn outweighed my egotistical pride. Nonetheless, I started lessons soon after at my local golf course. The first time I swung was a complete train wreck, yet, as time passed, I was better than most of the boys that attended golf lessons with me. A sense of pride swelled within me as I felt the stereotypes posed against me as a golfer lose all negative affect.

The start of my freshman year was a whole different course. Despite the fact that I was starting high school within a completely different district, my fear stemmed from the inevitable  athletic period I had on my schedule the first day. This would be the first time I ever met the golf tee, including the coach. Of course, I conjured up a list of expectations. I expected to be surrounded by amazing, white, male golfers and for the feeling of intimidation inferiority to settle in the pit of my stomach. However, as the last block rolled in, my presumptions diminished and I was happily surprised. The team was quite diverse. In fact, there were an even amount of males and females and types of ethnicities varied from Hispanic, to White, to African American. Ignoring the fact that I was the only freshman, I fit in with the team almost instantly.

When Freshman year finally jump started and golf season fully blossomed, practice grew intense. Four days out of my week were dedicated to golf. We practiced off campus at Thorntree Country Club. Practicing for the first time resurrected the unpleasant feeling of inferiority that I experienced when first meeting my team. Several schools from the surrounding area practiced their chipping, putting and full swing. I was mesmerized. However, I also felt a sour sensation in my chest as I realized that my skill didn’t come close to theirs. My confidence was broken. My spirit was diminished. But I boarded the bus anyway with my purple bag in tow.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I no longer demonstrated the once prominent confidence hat was present while practicing outside the school. I became unsure of myself and started to question my worthiness of being a part of the team.

My perception sat like a heavy weight in my chest for a while. However, as freshmen year turned into sophomore year, and sophomore year shifted into junior year, I slowly became a seasoned player. My skill grew to its all-time highest and I was finally able to master some of the hardest clubs within my bag. And while I might not have been the best golfer that was a part of my team, I grew confident about being a part of this sport. 

I no longer feared or worried about the comments that competing schools conjured up about my decision to wear my untamed mass of curls to tournaments. I disregarded the whispering utterance about me accidentally hooking a shot. While I still receive comical responses from friends about the idea of me as a golfer, the words female and African-American no longer act as a weight that prevented me from displaying my full potential. It transformed from a crutch to a strength.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “My Experiences as a Black, Female Golfer”

  1. Kennedy Stidham on January 22nd, 2018 5:33 pm

    Madison, I’m so proud of you!

  2. Madison Cooper on January 23rd, 2018 8:19 am

    Thank you so much!!

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