POLK COUNTY, Florida – Herbert Dixon celebrated over 80 years at Bartow Golf Course with his ninth hole-in.
“Oh yes, everyone was there,” said Dixon. “When they saw the ball go in, everyone started screaming – it was a big thing in my golf career, if I may put it that way.”
The odds that your average golfer will hit a hole-in-one is 12,000 to 1, according to the National Hole-in-One Register. That number drops to 3,500 to 1 for professional golfers and even lower for players over 100 and Mr Dixon is 102.
“I started golfing when I was 15. It was very different back then, ”said Mr. Dixon. “It was because of racial segregation; you couldn’t use the same washroom as them, you had to sit in the back of the bus. Blacks were not allowed to do a number of things at the time. “
Blacks were also not allowed to play golf on the Bartow golf course.
“I would say things have changed; the door is open!”
101-year-old golfer shared the news after him that he was not allowed to play on the golf course due to racial segregation. @ BN9 pic.twitter.com/hhPMr9Nv86
– Ashonti Ford TV (@ AshontiFordBN9) November 9, 2021
“You have to understand, that was over 70 years ago – we had to mess around and sometimes we had caddy day,” said Dixon. “But blacks were not allowed to play golf on the courts.”
Mr. Dixon told me that he has watched the game of golf and the world around him change for the better.
“For young people, I would say, you have to be motivated to do what you want; the possibilities are endless now, ”he said.
After being inducted into the Black Golfers Hall of Fame, the Bartow Golf Course named a driving range after Mr. Dixon.
“I’m so glad I got to see the day a black man was recognized this way,” said Mr. Dixon.
Dixon is now taking part in tournaments to raise money to help kids go to college.