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African American Women’s Golf Club builds monument to celebrate shared relationship with local golf course

Baltimore— Across the country celebrations for Black History Month will take place during the month of February. Perhaps, few will happen at a golf course like the one in Baltimore City on Tuesday, February 1, 2022— the dedication and unveiling of an exterior brick monument commemorating the significant history of African American golfers at Carroll Park Golf Course, at Carroll Park, located at 2100 Washington Boulevard in Baltimore. 

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 freestanding 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,” said 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 84-year legacy,” said Stephanie Williams, Club President of Pitch and Putt Golf Club of Baltimore.

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