A Brief History on Harold Dunovant Excerpted from Pete McDaniel's book, Uneven Lies, The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf.
…Perhaps it was Harold Dunovant's bellicose attitude that kept him forever standing on history's doorstep. His family moved from Winston-Salem , N.C. to New York when Harold was a teenager but not before he had been branded by Southern shepherds. "There were so many places we couldn't go and things we couldn't do," Dunovant said. "It was like being fenced in. When I got to New York and found I could play golf legally at the Van Cortlandt course in the Bronx, it was like I had been set free."
Dunovant turned pro in 1954, and, like all other aspiring African-American players, found a home on the UGA. "I made money everywhere I went, but I was a very poor putter and that kept me from being as good as I could have been," Dunovant said. In 1960, he began a campaign to become the first African-American Class A teaching professional. Fourteen years and numerous run-ins with the PGA of America later, he finally became a Class A member as head pro at Winston Lakes GC in Winston-Salem. "It had been the toughest journey in the world," he said. "For years wherever I went, from the Metropolitan Section to the Carolinas Section, they wouldn't accept me. But when I could finally pull out that piece of paper and show them I was a full-fledged member, they had no choice but to accept me."
Dunovant established the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 1986 to recognize the contributions of African-American players to the game. Inductions are held annually in conjunction with a pro-am at a selected course in the Southeast. The faces of black golf are remembered each year the week after July 4th, thanks to one who refused to let his be forgotten.
However the Hall of Fame is only part of Dunovant's legacy. In October of 1993, his son, Jeff, followed his father's path and joined the PGA of America as a Class A teaching pro. "I had more pride in Jeffery getting his card than when I got my own," Dunovant said. "I felt like a pioneer when I got mine, but when he got one, too, I felt like all the heartbreak had been worth it." In 1999, the Carolinas Section of the PGA honored Harold Dunovant as its junior golf leader of the year. With the recognition, another African-American golfer's journey into day was finally complete…