30barrow1-facebookJumbo.jpg

A Lasting Influence in Golf Descends From a Boxing Legend

The L.P.G.A., the Masters tournament, the P.G.A. of America, the PGA Tour and the United States Golf Association founded the First Tee program in 1997, the year Tiger Woods became the first African-American to win the Masters. Barrow joined the organization in 2000; at the time, he was chief executive of Izzo Systems, the golf bag manufacturer that introduced the dual strap for carry bags.

“It came down to a question of selling golf bags or impacting the lives of young people,” said Barrow, who became chief executive in 2008.

That sense of responsibility came from his father and his mother, Marva, Louis’s first wife.

“I observed the two of them giving back, and that really impacted me,” said Barrow, 70, who was 33 when his father died, in April 1981, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on special orders from President Ronald Reagan.

Barrow learned early the influence one person can have. He was 4 when his father, a year into his retirement from boxing, challenged the P.G.A. of America’s Caucasian-only policy by accepting an invitation to play in the 1952 San Diego Open as an exempt amateur. He missed the 36-hole cut, but the precedent of a black man…

Read Story

Translate »