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The Times of The South

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Swing Hope Into Action honors African American Golf Legends Charlie Sifford, Pete Brown, and Jim Dent

Augusta, Georgia (May 13, 2014) - Swing Hope Into Action Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 21st in Augusta, Georgia at Augusta Municipal Golf Course, also known as The Patch of Augusta. The Legacy Golf Challenge will be held in the morning, followed by a celebration reception at 2 p.m., which will include grand accolades to the honorees and more. Legacy Golf Challenge first and second place winners will each receive a commemorative plaque, presented by the honorees. Swing Hope Into Action 2014 will honor three African American golf legends.

Honoree Charlie Sifford is the first African American to play on the PGA Tour. Sifford joined the PGA Tour in 1961. He won two PGA Tour official events and the 1975 PGA Senior's Championship. In 2004, Sifford became the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Charlie Sifford is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Honoree Pete Brown is the first African American to win a PGA Tour sanctioned event. Brown's historical victory took place at the Waco Turner Open on May 3, 1964. Brown joined the PGA Tour in 1963. Pete Brown is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He currently lives in Evans, Georgia.

Honoree Jim Dent, former PGA Tour and Champions Tour member, is a 12-time Champions Tour winner. Dent joined the PGA Tour in 1970 and Champions Tour in 1989. Jim Dent is a native of Augusta, Georgia.

This inaugural event  marks an annual opportunity to bring honor to African American pioneers who paved the way for African Americans and other minorities to have access to the game of golf on and off the golf course. This event will enhance the knowledge of African American Golf History, while bringing attention to the fact that—career opportunities, player sponsorships, and professional player accessibilities for African Americans are in a downward spiral.

Event organizers are Marvin and Barbara Seidman of Umatilla, Florida and Ramona Harriet, African American golf historian and author of A Missing Link In History: The Journey of African Americans in Golf. Attorney Marvin Seidman says,  "The inspiration, dedication, and aspirations of Sifford, Brown, and Dent are remarkable. I look forward to hearing them tell stories of their groundbreaking achievements."

Last year in June, Harriet, who is also founder/president of GGC (Great Golfers of Color), and the Seidman's hosted (with the Mount Dora Library Association) a 91st birthday celebration for Charlie Sifford. This year's event will celebrate Charlie Sifford's 92nd birthday, Pete Brown's 50th anniversary of his first PGA Tour win, and Jim Dent's contributions to his community and the golf arena.

Margaret Brown, wife of honoree Pete Brown noted, "I hope our young girls and boys come to this celebration. I want my husband to share experiences, the good and bad, that he had on Tour before and after his historical win in 1964. I look forward to this event being held at The Patch. I remember when The Patch was one of the few courses that allowed African Americans to play."

Swing Hope Into Action Celebration is opened to the public. All media personnel must obtain a media pass to attend. To sign-up for the Legacy Golf Challenge, contact Ira Miller at 706-731-9344.