cover of one issue, so has Tiger Woods and his dad, Earl.
“We’re about golf, but more about the human aspects of golf than the technical or mechanical elements,” says Caldwell. “I’ve been playing golf for 30 years and there have been many things missing for me.”
For starters, Caldwell, whose illustrations appear throughout the magazine, made sure that one of the standing features in his product would be the history of black golf. The February 1997 issue includes an insightful profile of John Shippen, the first African American-born golf pro, who at age 18 led the 1896 U.S. Open with six holes to play and ended up in fifth place. The son of a black man and a full-blooded Shinnecock Indian, Shippen was dubbed “The Boy Wonder of Golf” by the New York Herald after that performance. He went on to play in four more Opens, finishing fifth again in 1902.
Another standing feature is the Ladies Tee, which targets minority women who are starting a relationship with a boyfriend or a husband who plays golf. The humorously written column offers suggestions on how to cope and co-exist with that dimple-faced other woman. Caldwell also gets a lot of mileage out of Career Tracks, a listing of job opportunities in the golf industry; Club News, a wrap-up of who’s doing what and where; and Event Update, a month-by-month look at minority golf tournaments for the year ahead.
If role models are what you’re looking for, Minority Golf does a good job of featuring individuals who are making a difference in their community through golf-related activities. Featured in the past have been Bill Dickey of Phoenix, Rene Powell of Cleveland and Salena Johnson of Detroit.
“All of these things are what people are interested in,” says Caldwell, who spent six months working with focus groups, collecting data and talking to advertisers before launching the consumer-driven magazine. “I always knew these types of stories existed. What we’re finding out after a year is that we’re having difficulty deciding what stuff to use. We haven’t even scratched the Mexican-American market yet, and we’re finding out that there are more Asians playing golf than any other ethnic group.”
For all the focus Caldwell places on appealing to minorities, he says that one of the stories that he is proudest of is one on Jack Nicklaus that ran in the inaugural issue. Nicklaus had been embroiled in some negative press prior to that issue over comments he made about blacks’ ability to play golf. “His comments were misconstrued and taken out of context,” says Caldwell. “The fact that he provided that interview in our first issue was a feather in our cap in that he felt we were qualitative enough to merit his time.”
Upcoming issues will focus on college golf programs and hot golf vacation spots. “Golf is not only a great networking tool,” Caldwell says, “but it is fast becoming a requirement of businesses. The more minorities know about golf, the better equipped they will be when they