Texas A&M, African American Golfer, Zoe Slaughter

Texas A&M’s First Black Female Golfer Finds Her Stroke

With grace and grit, Zoe Slaughter makes history while uniting her team and expanding diversity in the sport.

Zoe Slaughter, the first African American on the Texas A&A women’s golf team, is described by her coach as the glue that holds the team together.

“I like to keep things lighthearted on the course,” Slaughter, who joined the team in 2021, told KAGS, the NBC affiliate of Bryan, Texas. “Some people like to be serious, but I like a good laugh. I think it lightens the mood and makes everybody have a good time even if you’re not playing your best.”

Golf runs in Slaughter’s family. Her grandfather learned the game as a caddy, earned a scholarship to play in college, and passed on his love of golf to her. “He worked at the local Port Arthur country club as a caddy,” Kafi Slaughter, Zoe’s mother, told KAGS. “That’s how he learned how to play golf. He worked as a caddy so he could buy shoes.”

In high school, Slaughter nearly won an individual state title. At the University of Houston, she was freshman of the year. She transferred to Texas A&M, her mom’s alma mater, and joined the women’s golf program—where she made history. (The women’s golf program started in 1975.)

At Texas A&M, Slaughter learned she would be the first African-American golfer, which she called “awesome” and hopes to lead the way for others. Her arrival coincided with new heights for the program, including two NCAA semifinal appearances. Slaughter set a school record and sealed a Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship with a clutch putt.

In 2023, Slaughter set a school record during a 54-hole tournament. The school’s first African American golfer posted a score of -18, getting the ICON Invitational title.

Slaughter credits her family for instilling a strong work ethic and positive mindset. Mom Kafi said Slaughter’s work ethic likely came from “having the mindset of ranchers and hard-working blue-collar people.”

The younger Slaughter aims to inspire other young Black girls to pursue their dreams in golf and any other passion. “You can do the same thing as anyone else,” says Slaughter, who fees “an extra push” to work hard to be a role model.