By David Mayhew
David Mayhew aged 72, helped pave the way for young British golfers to blossom in the 1960s
England golfer David Mayhew earned £1 a week playing tournament golf in the 1960s – and won for the first time the following year.
The Ipswich-born 58-year-old is the first African-Caribbean man to be professional on the tour and felt he was trying to make history as an African-Caribbean male.
Although he is not the first black professional golfer, he was among the first to break down barriers and to thrive in a sport which still has very few minorities in it.
“Some golfers of my generation used to say, ‘Don’t go to the club, go to the golf course, so you won’t have to deal with racism’,” he told BBC Radio Norfolk.
“But the club would let them in as long as they wore long trousers.”
Mayhew scored 40 points in his first ever tournament win at the Point Open in 1965 – a feat he achieved after leading by five shots after 36 holes.
“It was the greatest thing ever to happen to me. Even for me, going into the closing round, I didn’t think I would win. It’s happened to me a few times later, but that’s the main one.”
With no college or university-level courses for Black golfers, Mayhew read three book before his third year of university exams to prepare for his studies.
“I had a lot of help from an ex-captain, Mike Singleton, who was really pleased I had done it,” said Mayhew.
“He told me how hard I’d have to work and how I’d have to make my own way through.”