Brentwood Country Club Is 97% Jewish & Where Are All The Latino Golfers?

Steve Sailer writes:

The story of how the great Jewish liberal Mosk prevented the Jewish Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles from hosting the 1961 PGA Championship is indeed an interesting one. Jewish country clubs had been the venue of a number of U.S. Opens and PGA Championships before WWII, but they then shied away from volunteering to put on more after Mosk embarrassed Brentwood.

But the sheer existence of Jewish country clubs (even in today’s highly multiethnic Los Angeles, Brentwood’s membership remains 97 percent Jewish) is evidently too thought-provoking for The New York Times’ sensitive subscribers, so May prudently doesn’t mention it.

Perhaps more interesting than that none of the top U.S. golfers is black is that nobody is Hispanic, considering that Latinos now outnumber blacks by 40 percent. But few pundits are terribly interested in Hispanic representation.

The decline of black pros was forecasted way back in the late 1960s by Joe Dey, the first commissioner of the PGA Tour, who prophesied: “By the turn of the century, there may not be one black playing the tour.” Dey had a perfectly sensible reason for his prediction: Most black pros of his time started as caddies, but motorized golf carts were replacing human bag carriers. So, fewer blacks would get introduced to golf while young.

And, unlike in Dey’s time, you now pretty much have to start early these days to succeed at golf. The winningest black golfer before Tiger, Calvin Peete, grew up poor and didn’t play golf until his 20s, yet went on to win a dozen tournaments in his late 30s and early 40s. Similarly, a white peer of Peete’s, ten-time winner Larry Nelson, didn’t try golf until he came back from Vietnam at age 21. But that kind of late start seems inconceivable these days.

Consider how many team-sport superstars like Michael Jordan dream of retiring to the golf course and playing on the over-50 tour. But only the late 49ers quarterback John Brodie ever won a senior tour event.

Moreover, American culture became extremely hostile toward the idea of a black man serving a white man, even as a caddie. Thus, in the early 1980s the Masters dropped its requirement that tour pros use Augusta National’s local black caddies and instead could bring their regular caddies, who were increasingly white.

Because, it turns out that white guys love having servile jobs…as long as they are on beautiful golf courses. The typical tour caddie these days is often a fraternity brother or a college teammate of the player. The last time I had a caddie was at the National Golf Links of America in the Hamptons, where Duke U. students fly in for the weekend to tote bags for Masters of the Universe. The enthusiastic young men who unload your golf clubs from your trunk at the upscale daily fee course are likely upper-middle-class golf fanatics.

But Tiger Woods himself also probably played a sizable role in the lessening of chances for blacks in golf. I presume that Amy Chua’s coinage of “Tiger Mother” is a reference to the famous intensity of effort that Tiger’s parents put into preparing him to be a golf champion. That a part-Asian was trained from infancy to become the best golfer in the world—and in the dozen years from 1997 through 2008, Tiger was no doubt the best ever—had a galvanizing effect on Asian and other ambitious parents.

In the 27 years since the 21-year-old Woods’ twelve-stroke victory at the 1997 Masters, the level of parental investment in youth training has soared, which hasn’t helped blacks’ chances.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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