Picture this. It’s 2021, I had just finished my D1 collegiate golf career and decided to officially hang my clubs up. My co-founder Tori was in the midst of her D1 career at UNLV. Yet, as we looked at the sport that we had grown up with, years had passed but we still didn’t see women who looked like us on tour. Growing up playing golf, the feel of being out on the greens first thing in the morning to scoring your first Eagle – there’s no sport like ours. However, our sport has, at times, not always seemed the most welcoming to women like us. Both Tori and I are biracial and travelling throughout the state for the myriad of junior tournaments brought us face to face with both the pros and cons of being one of the few African Americans playing the sport. It was incredibly isolating, not seeing anyone that looked even remotely like us out on the greens, but it helped that we had parents who believed in our golf aspirations. Compared to other sports, Golf can be quite expensive – which is one of the reasons why we decided to create BlkGolfBabes, a space for women of color to see other women who are playing and changing the future of golf, one putt at a time.
Oftentimes, minorities are unable to access the right coaching, equipment and courses to compete against their well-funded counterparts. Although Tori and I were blessed with parents who could fund our dreams, many of our fellow minorities are not. There is still a ton of work to be done, but one way we believe the gap can be bridged is to provide discounted (or free!) quality clubs, lessons and golf camps for kids who are interested in playing the sport but don’t necessarily have the means to do so. This is one of our main goals at BlkGolfBabes but we have started off with simply bringing more awareness to the hundreds of minority women who play our wonderful sport. When we realized that there were all of these pages for golfers, but few had any women of color, BlkGolfBabes was born. Sometimes it’s nice to see representation, even if it’s just on an Instagram page (although the cover of Golf Magazine would be awesome as well!). Like we said, one putt at a time.
Creating this platform has shown us how many ways we can help the fellow golfers in our communities and throughout the country. It is amazing to see how much support we have received not just from our community but the golfing community in general. Our name represents a community that supports the future of golf for minorities from all different backgrounds. Our plans are quite large and without giving everything away, one goal of ours is to create a fund to help support girls who have aspirations of playing on the LPGA. As previously mentioned, our sport is expensive! Becoming a pro makes it even more so – with tournaments spread out across the country, caddy fees, room & board – these are just a few of the expenses that inhibit women of color from being successful on the tour.
We want to change the game of golf and make it more inclusive and welcoming so that everyone can enjoy our sport. If you’re interested in supporting please purchase our merchandise and follow us on Instagram @blkgolfbabes. Together we can change the future of golf - one putt at a time :)
Maria Davis & Tori James