Calvin Peete: Golf’s Forgotten Star by Gordon Hobson

Literary Loop

For the first time, Gordon Hobson tells the story of Calvin Peete, an overlooked PGA star and one of the best black golfers in history.

Born to a family of migrant laborers, he dropped out of school in eighth grade, went to work picking crops, first swung a golf club at age 23 — and rose to the top of the PGA.

When Peete joined the lily-white PGA Tour in 1976, he stood out from the competition in more ways than one. He sported a huge Fu Manchu, cowboy boots and had diamonds embedded in his teeth.

Despite a permanently bent left elbow, he practiced endless hours in a public park to develop one of the most accurate swings in golf history.

After years of futility and despair, he emerged as the best player on the Tour from 1982-86. He won 12 championships, played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team twice and won the prestigious Vardon Award.

Peete’s story reveals the struggles many black golfers endured even after the PGA removed the Caucasian-only clause from its bylaws. The biography shows how, even without advantages from birth, success is possible through hard work, determination and fortitude.