Shoal Creek Member Louis Willie Dead At 84

A Noteworthy Passing:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Louis J. Willie Jr., a black businessman who helped defuse a racial dispute surrounding the 1990 PGA Championship by becoming an honourary member at the all-white Shoal Creek club, has died. He was 84.

Shoal Creek Country Club, in suburban Birmingham, was the site of the 1990 PGA Championship. Protests mounted after the club president said Shoal Creek would not be pressured into accepting black members. Willie helped quiet the situation by accepting an offer of honourary membership.

Afterward, the Professional Golf Association and other golf groups said they would no longer hold tournaments at clubs that lacked minorities or women as members. An advertising executive became Shoal Creek’s first dues-paying black member in 1996.

More In the New York Times

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1 thought on “Shoal Creek Member Louis Willie Dead At 84”

  1. Amazing how backwards things were less than 20 years ago, but I bet places like that still persist today. Was it a pure economics/demographic issue in the area, or just blatent discrimination? I am guessing the later. The look on the old boys club members faces when Tiger started coming through and dominating must have been priceless.

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