Steph Curry and a dedicated group of golfers, coaches, and executives are working to bring more diversity to a sport where an estimated 3% of recreational players are Black.
Curry, an avid golfer himself, made a seven-figure donation in 2019 to fund a men’s and women’s Division I golf program at Howard University, which is historically Black. The donation, which will be paid out over six years, supported a coaching hire, scholarships, and initial recruitment. The university will also receive equipment from Curry-affiliated Callaway Golf.
The idea came to Curry after speaking with a single student, Otis Ferguson IV, who is passionate about golf.
“What I’ve done for Howard in trying to create an endowment there is special, and you can create a template that looks like that at other schools,” Curry said in a recent interview on the Beyond the Fairway podcast.
“If you even looked at when I played in the match with Phil [Mickelson], Chuck [Barkley], and Peyton [Manning], that was five hours of national broadcast television that was all about HBCUs,” he added, referring to a charity match he played last November.
To diversify the sport in a sustainable way, golf will need to become more accessible on a number of levels.
“The game of golf in general, and just the business of golf, is obviously predicated on the middle-aged white man who has historically owned the game,” Curry told the Undefeated. “I think all around the country there is work being done … to make golf more affordable, more fun, more approachable.”
Initially slowed by the pandemic, Howard’s program is finally off and running. The team played its third match of the season on Sunday against Georgetown.