The first-ever biography of an overlooked PGA star and one of the best Black golfers in history.
His story is unprecedented in the world of golf. Born to a family of migrant laborers, Calvin Peete dropped out of school in the eighth grade, went to work picking crops, first swung a golf club at the age of 23—and rose to the top of the PGA.
In Calvin Peete: Golf's Forgotten Star, Gordon Hobson tells for the first time Peete’s incredible story. Hobson recounts how, when Peete joined the lily-white PGA tour in 1976, he stood out from the competition in more ways than one. Peete wasn’t raised in country clubs and didn’t learn the game at prestigious golf universities. He sported a huge Fu Manchu, cowboy boots, and had diamonds embedded in his teeth. Peete had a permanently bent left elbow and practiced endless hours in a public park to develop one of the most accurate swings in the history of golf. He endured years of futility and despair, but, eventually, he emerged as the best player on the Tour from 1982-86.
Calvin Peete’s story is inspiring, but it also reveals the struggles many Black golfers endured even after the Caucasian-only clause was removed from the PGA’s bylaws. He may have won twelve championships, played on the US Ryder Cup team twice, and won the prestigious Vardon Award, but the road to success wasn’t easy. Calvin Peete: Golf’s Forgotten Star shows how, even without the advantages some people are born into, one can find success through hard work, determination, and fortitude.
Gordon Hobson is a retired attorney and first-time author from Columbus, Ohio. He was raised in a golfing family and has caddied in an LPGA event, a PGA Pro-Am, and for Bruce Fleisher when he won the 1968 U.S. Amateur.
A compelling read that ignites excitement and delivers insight on one of golf's most exceptional ball strikers.
Before reading Gordon Hobson's excellent biography, all I knew of Calvin Peete was that he was a Black golfer with an uncanny ability to find the fairway from off the tee. Thanks to Hobson's extensive research and vivid storytelling, I received a much-needed education. While Peete almost always hit the ball straight, off the course he had to overcome twists and turns that would have wrecked many a lesser man.
2/1/24, Choice: This title was included in the “Forthcoming Titles in African American Studies, 2024” roundup.