One Black golfer seeking to change the game – one stroke at a time

Joseph Bramlett is one of four Black golfers on The PGA Tour.
PGA photo submitted

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior
National Correspondent

Joseph Bramlett easily could be viewed as the future face of professional golf – particularly as one of just four Black golfers on the PGA Tour.

As a first-timer at THE PLAYERS Championship, Bramlett continues to forge a name for himself in the world of golf.

However, he hasn’t been shy about expressing the state of race in the game and throughout the country, and he continues doing his part to change the game one stroke at a time.

Following the murder of George Floyd, Bramlett was quick to speak out, calling the nation’s social unrest “a ticking time bomb.”

Working diligently to overcome several injuries and climb the list of golf’s elite, Bramlett has remained committed to engaging in and developing programs that can expand opportunities for Black golfers.

“That’s the big question at the moment,” Bramlett told NNPA Newswire about minority participation as he prepared for a practice round before THE PLAYERS at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

“When you find something you’re passionate about, you go for it. Golf definitely is a game that’s not always been welcoming to people of color and minorities,” he remarked. “It’s starting to change. It’s not a one-time thing, and it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Bramlett made clear that golf’s history isn’t okay although change is occurring.

“But, if you’re young and minority and coming into the game, it’s important to find people to have around you who are willing to support you and help you along the journey,” he insisted. “If this is something that you’re passionate about, it’s extremely gratifying.”

He noted that programs like First Tee had exposed millions of children to the game.

First Tee teaches young individuals life skills through golf lessons. It integrates the game with a life skills curriculum and builds inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience in young ones.

“It’s wonderful what First Tee has done. They’ve exposed a lot of kids to the game of golf, and I definitely look toward things like that with a lot of admiration,” Bramlett stated.

As for THE PLAYERS Championship, Bramlett hopes to follow in the footsteps of one of golf’s all-time greats, Tiger Woods, who was recently enshrinement into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“It’s very exciting. I’ve dreamed of playing this tournament for a very long time,” Bramlett asserted. “It’s taking a lot of time, I’ve had a few injuries and some tough moments, but here we are still going.”

Bramlett credits his parents and close family and associates with helping him realize his dream.

“My dad got me into the game, and (we’re) very passionate about golf,” Bramlett stated. “It’s massively important having that support system. You can’t get here by yourself. It takes a village; it’s not just something you can do by yourself.”

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