Cedar Crest Unveils Statues of Iconic Golfers Charlie Sifford and Walter Hagen

Two golf legends will forever be remembered at Cedar Crest Club in southern Dallas.

Bronze statues of Dr. Charles Sifford Sr. and Walter Hagen are now permanently displayed at the court. Sifford was the winner of the 1954 United Golf Association’s National Negro Open at Cedar Crest and Walter Hagen, winner of the 1927 PGA championship.

“My father, Dr. Charles Sifford, would have been thrilled and honored to have his life’s story told in this manner here at Cedar Crest. My father overcame many adversities as he strived to play professional golf. This installation will ensure that generations to come will also know of and be inspired by the grit and perseverance that it took for a man of color to play a sport that he loved. Dr. Charles Sifford was a trailblazer for the sport of golf who wanted the injustices removed to ‘Just Let Him Play.”

Dr. Sifford, a native of Charlotte, N.C. was known as “The Jackie Robinson of Golf”. He was the first African American to play on the PGA Tour and won the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969. He also won the United Golf Association’s National Negro Open six times.

As for Hagen, he was rated one of the greatest golfers ever. It was said he brought publicity, prestige, big prize money, and lucrative endorsements to the sport. He had 11 professional golf majors, third only to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He won the U.S. Open twice, the PGA Championship five times and the Western Open five times. Hagen’s PGA wins totaled 45. His 1927 PGA Championship win was hosted by Cedar Crest.

 “We are standing on the shoulders of these men today with the hope of inspiring golfers for the next 100 years as well. It's an honor to have had these legends of golf be crowned as champions on this A.W. Tillinghast gem, Cedar Crest Golf Course," Ira Molayo, General Manager of Cedar Crest Golf Course, said.

The statues were created by Emmanuel Gillespie. He has been a creator for more than 20 years and is from Dallas. His curatorial work in galleries and museums nationally provides visual narratives of the African diaspora while highlighting visual artists.

At the ceremony, scholarships were also given to JaLynn McKinney of Lincoln High School and Joanna Ramirez of Roosevelt High School. Those scholarships are made possible by the I AM a Golfer Foundation. Since its inception in 2018, IAMGF has worked with more than 450 young people in the area in instructional programming, created and hosted 71 paid internship positions for area students, and awarded more than $95,000 in higher education scholarships.

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