Earl says he first picked up a golf club at 6 years old and has been playing ever since. He won his first tournament when he was 12 and his success earned him a full scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta.
When Earl learned about FiDonce, he attached himself to them because of their commitment to preparing athletes for college and careers. Earl admits that he’s not a basketball player but he wants to show inner city youth the great opportunities that the game of golf can bring.
He tells me that many schools have golf scholarships that go unused every year and the qualifications are very achievable if you start early enough and practice.
I naively assumed that since he played for a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) that he competed against other black golfers during the season. He surprised me by saying that there were more than a few black schools that have all white golf teams. Since Morehouse beats most of them, it shows that those schools just can’t find black talent for their teams.
Earl admits that money is what keeps most blacks out of the professional golf ranks where there is a lot of money to be made. He says that unless you are already rich, most golfers are sponsored. Black golfers do get sponsorship but normally not with enough money to participate in tournaments on a regular basis. And in order to stay on top of your game you must be a member of a golf club whose memberships are prohibitive to those without adequate resources. Earl says his golf bag has about $3000 of equipment in it which is far more than it cost for a group of guys to go out and run a game a basketball.
Earl treasures the associations he’s made on the golf course. As he stressed, a lot of business and networking is done on the golf course and he’s played with plenty of powerful businessmen who first look at him as and oddity, but once he slams one over 300 yards straight down the fairway they begin to respect him.
Earl is going into his senior year as a political science major and is working this summer in Wilmington with Governor Jack Markell’s office.
You can see Earl play on July 12 at 5:30pm on the Golf Channel as they replay the PGA Minority Championship Tournament. I won’t tell you who won.