By sports reporter Rebecca Johnson
The Charlie Sifford Award was created in honour of one of the greatest figures in pro golf, an African-American and a pioneering pioneer.
The award was created as part of the Turnkey Golf Academy’s Signature Series, an award program honouring sports leaders who have played a significant role in advancing diversity in golf.
“The Charlie Sifford Award gives me the opportunity to say that we are indeed capable of equality,” said Martin Madden, host of Golf Channel’s “Big Break” reality series. “It is always difficult to create an award in the tennis world, but in the golf world in the hands of youth that have grown up watching it through TV, there is no doubt in my mind that it is an award to be proud of.
“It recognizes a pioneer as well as an exceptional competitor on the course. Charlie truly was the man. Every year we can be part of the continuing evolution of the golf world and expand the boundaries of the sport.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Antonio Banderas were honoured with the inaugural trophies last year.
Hoffman received a life achievement award for his acting career, while Banderas received a lifetime achievement award for his career as a music artist and producer.
The Charlie Sifford Award is named in honour of Sifford, the trailblazing golfer who not only became the first African-American on the PGA Tour, but also a professional basketball player and businessman.
“We are so grateful to The Golf Channel for helping to launch this new award, which will recognize the impact that Charles Sifford, sport’s first African-American African-American PGA Tour player, has had on golf,” said Erik Van Allen, founder and CEO of Turnkey Golf Academy.