Watch ‘Uneven Fairways’

AT THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW, I enjoyed a special treat: a preview screening of Uneven Fairways, a Golf Channel documentary about the Negro leagues of professional golf.

Watch ‘Uneven Fairways’ 1(Lee Elder)

The program profiles the African-American golfers who were not allowed to compete on the PGA Tour due to the Caucasian-only clause (finally removed in 1961). So the men started their own tour, the United Golf Association (UGA).

The show consists mostly of interviews with players such as Charlie Sifford, Pete Brown, Jim Thorpe, Calvin Peete and a few others (James Black, for instance) who you probably have never heard of (and won’t soon forget). There’s also historic footage, including film of the legendary Ted Rhodes and Bill Spiller.

Three of golf’s giants − Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods − also pay tribute to golf’s African-American pioneers. Samuel Jackson is the host and narrator.

After the preview screening, I shook the hand of Pete McDaniel, who co-wrote Uneven Fairways, and is the author of Uneven Lies and a Golf Digest columnist. Well done, I said. Maybe you’ll agree. But first you have to watch.

“Uneven Fairways” airs tonight (Wednesday, February 11) at 9 p.m. on the Golf Channel.

View trailer

−The Armchair Golfer

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

3 thoughts on “Watch ‘Uneven Fairways’”

  1. That was an amazing documentary. What struck me most was in watching it you realize how much the game has suffered because of stupid concepts and notions. We all lose in terms of watching amazing players and seeing the game advance in talent and quality because generations of amazing players didn’t get the chance on the tour. I met Calvin Peete last fall and he could not have been more gracious and kind. You could see the passion and love he still had for the game. It was an honor to shake his hand.

  2. Marc, my dad had a similar experience. He saw Calvin Peete practicing his putting at a local club in California and figured no one recognized Peete. But he did. My dad approached Calvin and shook his hand. He said Calvin was pleased to be recognized and could not have been more gracious.


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