Pioneer Sifford To Be Honored At Original Tee Golf Classic

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: June 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Wendell J. Haskins, entrepreneur and founder/president of the Original Tee Golf Classic (OTGC) wants you to know that the story of the African-American presence in the game of golf does not begin and end with Tiger Woods .

On Sunday, June 24, Haskins, will be joined by a host of celebrities, VIPs and high profile golf enthusiasts including actors, Bill Bellamy, Rosie Perez , Andre Royo ( The Wire), Herb Williams (NY Knicks Coach), Stephanie Elam, CNN-NY Business News correspondent; Chris Webber, Chris Spencer, Greg Anthony, Ruben Santiago Hudson, the legendary Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, actor Malik Yoba , rap artist LUKE, Clyde Drexler and others, to celebrate the lifetime achievement and legacy of African-American golf pioneer, Dr. Charles Sifford, at the 8th Annual Original Tee Golf Classic to be held at the Wild Turkey Golf Club, in Hamburg, NJ .

Refusing to buckle under the pressure of racism, Dr. Sifford is the single individual most responsible for desegregating the game of golf in America. Legendary New York Times sports writer Bill Rhoden will present Dr. Sifford with the first Dr. Charlie Sifford True Original Award at the June 24th True Original Awards Dinner sponsored by INC.COM .

Haskins named the True Original Award after Dr. Sifford in tribute to his lifetime legacy of milestone achievements. No stranger to the prefix “first,” Dr. Charles (Charlie) Sifford is renowned as the first black man to break the color barrier in golf.

Eventually, he became the first African-American to play regularly on the PGA Tour and the first African-American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Only recently has Dr. Sifford started to receive recognition for his endurance, strength of character and sportsmanship.

Dr. Sifford’s name will grace OTGC’s annual award recognizing honorees who exemplify his unique qualities of leadership, courage and innovation–making them true originals in their career fields. “ is proud to partner with the Original Tee Golf Classic to pay homage to Dr. Sifford, an agent of change — a man who exemplifies the spirit of enterprise, courage and conviction,” said Harold Bolling, Publisher of Mansueto Digital Ventures, the parent company of OTGC’s Gold sponsor.

Like his role model Dr. Sifford, Wendell Haskins has weathered against the odds for eight years to develop his vision for a lifestyle event that would bridge his passion for supporting worthy community causes and his love of sports, fashion and entertainment.

“As a golf enthusiast, I wanted to bring together other people of color who share a love for this sport” said Haskins. He continues “African-Americans have always participated in the game. I want more people of color to feel comfortable on the golf course. Our historical contributions deserve to be included in the overall landscape of the sport.”

A fundraiser as well as a celebratory social event, The Original Tee Golf Classic will also donate a portion of the proceeds to The American Cancer Society and The Bill Dickey Scholarship Association. “As successful business people, it’s important that we support organizations and charities that contribute to the growth, success and health of our communities,” said Haskins.

The Original Tee Golf Classic is supported in part by American Express , Diageo, ESPN Magazine, GODIVA Chocolate, Inc. Magazine, Microsoft , The NBA, Pepsi , Starbucks , VIBE Magazine and Washington Mutual as well as local businesses and organizations.

Original Tee Inc. was founded and launched in 1999 by entertainment marketing entrepreneur, Wendell J. Haskins (Founder/President). Since its inception, the Original Tee Golf Classic has developed into a golf culture love-fest, where celebrities, corporate, and entertainment VIPs come together to honor African-American achievement while supporting worthy philanthropic causes.

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