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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Remembering Calvin Peete

Wednesday morning we lost yet another legendary golfer, this time to lung cancer. His name was Calvin Peete and he was 71.

Calvin Peete

Many of you may not even be aware of who Calvin Peete was, and that's a real shame. FoxSports opened their article about his passing with a simple statement about his career:
Calvin Peete, who taught himself how to play golf at 24 and became the most successful black player on the PGA Tour before the arrival of Tiger Woods, died Wednesday morning, the PGA Tour said. He was 71.
But that doesn't even begin to sum up Peete's place in history. Before Fred Funk became Mr. Accuracy, that title belonged to Calvin Peete... for 10 years. He competed against Nicklaus and Trevino and Watson and Norman during some of their most competitive years. He won 14 pro tournaments, 12 of them on the PGA Tour, and while he never won a major he did win THE PLAYERS in 1985 and what is now the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 1986.

For me personally, Calvin Peete was the guy I tried to pattern my game after. When I took up the game in 1985, he was notorious for his ability to just wear the field out. He was an average-length hitter but he just hit fairways and greens, round after round, tournament after tournament. If Calvin Peete was playing, he was probably near the top of the leaderboard.

Here are links to three of the articles that were written about him after his passing yesterday:
and they'll give you an overview of what he did and what other players thought of him.

But for me, he was my inspiration. He made me believe that a normal guy could play against the big boys and hold his own. I'll always be grateful to him for that. Rest in peace, Calvin.

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