Warriors’ Steph Curry to receive prestigious Charlie Sifford award for helping diversify golf

Warriors’ Steph Curry to receive prestigious Charlie Sifford award for helping diversify golf

Steph Curry is being recognized once again.

Thanks to his commitment to diversifying the sport of golf, the World Golf Hall of Fame announced that Curry will receive the prestigious Charlie Sifford Award. A ceremony to honor Curry will be held before the 2024 U.S. Open at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.

Sifford was the first African-American to play on the PGA Tour.

He won two events while on tour, the 1967 Great Hartford Open Invitational and the 1969 Los Angeles Open.

His best finish in a major championship came in 1972 when he finished solo 27th at the 72nd U.S. Open. Jack Nicklaus won his 11th major title at Pebble Beach then.

Nevertheless, Sifford paved the way for hundreds of individuals who would later compete on the PGA Tour.

Tiger Woods, Charlie Sifford

Tiger Woods and Charlie Sifford speak during a practice round at the 2009 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

One of them is Tiger Woods, who named his son after Sifford.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that without Charlie, and the other pioneers who fought to play, I may not be playing golf,” Woods said upon Sifford’s passing in 2015.

Six years later, the World Golf Hall of Fame created the Charlie Sifford Award, which honors “an individual who personifies Sifford’s groundbreaking achievements through perseverance, confidence, respect, and adaptability.”

Curry ticks all of these boxes.

“I’m incredibly honored to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s Charlie Sifford Award and am grateful to the World Golf Hall of Fame for the recognition in this sport that I am so passionate about,” Curry said in a statement.

“I believe that we have the opportunity to grow the game of golf by providing equity, access, and opportunity to young golfers who have that same passion, dedication, and determination as so many of us out on the green.”

In 2021, the Golden State Warrior launched Underrated Golf, which brings together kids from diverse backgrounds to compete and connect on the golf course.

This year, Underrated Golf culminated with the Curry Cup at Lake Merced Golf Club, not far from TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the site of the 2020 PGA Championship.

Twenty-four boys and girls from all over the country earned spots in the final event at Lake Merced, as Underrated Golf is a season-long series.

Steph Curry, PGA Tour, American Century Championship

Steph Curry hits a shot at the 2023 American Century Championship.
Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

“Through our regional events, we are working to identify and recognize talented young golfers whose combined passion and potential deserves attention,” Underrated Golf’s website reads.

This endeavor is built on three key pillars: equity, access, and opportunity, which define the Charlie Sifford Award.

Curry brought this same approach to Howard University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) in Washington, DC.

The four-time NBA champion provided much-needed funding to the university in 2019, as he helped give the golf team Division I status. Curry will continue to support the Howard golf team through 2025.

Prior to Curry stepping in, Howard did not have a golf team since the 1970s.

Now the team competes at a Division I level for the first time in school history.

“Curry has shown passion and a commitment to giving more opportunities to young people who do not have access to the game of golf,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “Steph’s dedication to advancing diversity in golf epitomizes the groundbreaking work demonstrated by Charlie Sifford.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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