The late Smith, a 2-time Masters champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member who led the PGA in 1952-54, defended the PGA’s ‘Caucasian-only’ membership clause
Renamed: By the PGA of America, the Horton Smith Award because of the late Smith’s defense of racially exclusive policies, the PGA announced Thursday in a news release. Smith, whose 32 PGA Tour victories included the 1934 and 1936 Masters titles, served as PGA president in 1952-54. He was a defender of the “Caucasian-only” membership clause, which was included in the PGA’s bylaws in 1934-61. The award will be called the PGA Professional Development Award and honor a PGA member for outstanding contributions to professional education. Smith, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, died at age 55 in 1963. He was the longtime head professional at Detroit Golf Club, the site of this week’s PGA Tour event, the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Suzy Whaley, the PGA's president, said the association “is taking ownership of a failed chapter in our history. . . . We need to do all we can to ensure the PGA of America is defined by inclusion." The inaugural PGA Professional Development Award will be presented during the PGA’s annual meeting Oct. 27-30 in Hartford, Conn.
Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.