LaRee Sugg, 3rd Black Female on LPGA Tour, Leads List
On September 16, 2023, the National Black Golf Hall of Fame (NBGHF) will induct its 37th Anniversary class at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The Ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Headlining the 2023 class will be LaRee Sugg, the current Deputy Director of Athletics for Policy and Sports at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. LaRee became the third African American to play on the LPGA Tour and Epson Tour, following Althea Gibson and Renee Powell who also competed on the LPGA Tour. One of her greatest accomplishments was spearheading the 1991 UCLA women’s golf team to a national title her senior year.
“I am deeply humbled by this honor and recognition,” Sugg said. “I continue to be grateful to my family, coaches, peers and friends, who supported my competitive golf career and subsequent life goals. My grandfather, golf partner and biggest fan, Dr. James C. Nelson, who instilled in me a love of the game and empowered me to always dream big is smiling from heaven. Most importantly, I am so proud to stand on the shoulders of the trailblazing female African-American professional and amateur golfers who came before me, including Althea Gibson, Renee Powell and Anne Gregory. They remain shining examples of strength, sacrifice, and courage as they gracefully endured, and broke racial barriers to ensure those who came behind them had access, and a path to compete at the highest level.”
The weekend will include a junior golf clinic at Atlanta’s John A. White Golf Course, home of Metro Atlanta’s First Tee that is directed by the NBGHF’s Chairman Jeff Dunovant, PGA who is the son of NBGHF Founder, the late Harold Dunovant, who was also a PGA member. Following the clinic and induction will be golf at Bear’s Best in Duluth, Georgia and the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta.
Joining Ms. Sugg will be Stephen Hamblin, CEO of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), and Carl Jackson, longest serving caddie at the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Jackson has the distinction of being Ben Crenshaw’s caddie for Crenshaw’s two Masters victories. Andre Springs, current Assistant to the President of Livingstone College in Charlotte, North Carolina will also be inducted. Springs has led the Livingstone golf team to two CIAA championships.
The NBGHF’s Jeff Dunovant, PGA member, Board Chairman and son of the NBGHF founder said, “My father would be so proud of what has been accomplished from that little idea he had in the early eighties to recognize Black players and others who have done the most to promote golf in the Black community!”
The mission of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame is to celebrate and honor exemplary achievements of Blacks in the golf industry. The organization also recognizes business and community leaders, regardless of race or ethnicity, who ensure Blacks are presented opportunities to participate in any facet of golf. The organization was founded in 1986 by the late Harold Dunovant, the first African American to complete PGA business school.