John Shippen was the first black person to play professional golf. Shippen, who was half black and Indian, lived on the reservation with others in the Shinnecock Hills. He was originally hired to help clear out the space for the new golf course and, before long, was giving lessons to the white players. In one summer, Shippen had made $15 after giving lessons. He had learned to play the game from Scotsman Willie Dunn. As Dunn’s new caddie with golf skills, 16-year-old Shippen was soon invited to play in the 1896 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
The white players tried to boycott the event upon learning that Shippen was black, but he had the backing of then USGA President Theodore Havermeyer. In the 1896 U.S. Open, Shippen ended with a final round of 81 and a 36-hole total of 159, taking fifth place out of 35 players and won $10. He was not only the first black player, but he was the first American-born professional golfer to enter the U.S. Open Championship. Shippen would continue to play in four additional competitions, in 1899, 1900, 1902 and 1913.
Shippen continued his game on the east coast, and from 1913 to 1915, he served as private instructor for the wealthiest clients. His client list included steel magnate Henry C. Frick, James Cromwell and former New Jersey Governer J.S. Freylinghuysen. From 1918 to 1920, Shippen worked the greens in Southampton. He later became co-owner of a course he designed in Laurel, Maryland.
As more racism ensued and Jim Crow laws took over the golf clubs and the PGA, Shippen’s professional game turned to the United Golfers Association (UGA), an African American golfers association. He retired as the greens keeper and head pro at Shady Rest Golf and Country Club.
Pro golfer and pioneer, John Shippen, passed away in a nursing home on May 15, 1968 at age 89. It would be some time later when a gravestone was erected on the grounds of the Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey. The memorial efforts were led by Thurman P. Simmons, chairman of the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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