A PGA Award named after Springfield native Horton Smith is being renamed.
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board said in a statement, when Smith was president of the PGA in the 1950s, he supported a policy that would only admit white members.
The director of the park board says it will investigate further.
A park board golf course in Southwest Springfield also bears Smith’s name.
You can read the statement by the park board below…
Golf legend Horton Smith was born in eastern Greene County in 1908. He is best known as the winner of the inaugural Masters tournament in 1934, winning a second Masters in 1936. Smith still holds a record of six professional tournament wins before age 21. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990. Horton Smith is the namesake of the Park Board’s Horton Smith Golf Course, opened in southwest Springfield in 1962.
Smith served as a PGA President 1952-1954. During his tenure, he supported the PGA’s policy at the time of admitting white members only.
“We just learned of this news today, and we haven’t had a chance to vet out what it means for us,” said Parks Director Bob Belote. “Parks facilities are places where we bring people together, where everyone is welcome, and everyone should feel safe among equals. This is information we’ll need to share with the Park Board and investigate further.”