Shippen Golf Club

The Case:

A children’s golf foundation recently received a surprising donation, an antique golf club.

More significant than its age was the rumor that the original owner was John Shippen Jr., who competed in the 1896 U.S. Open at Long Island’s Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

The match — the second ever in America — was almost canceled due to the inclusion of Shippen, an African-American.

Hanno Shippen Smith would like to know if it is possible that this club belonged to his grandfather and if it is indeed a rare relic from that pivotal day in the career of this remarkable man.

History Detectives Elyse Luray and Gwen Wright take on the case and discover a story of racial prejudice and the determination of one man to ignore the obstacle of color in the sport that he loved.

Discuss this story

Season 2, Episode 12

Elyse Luray Detective:
Gwen Wright Location:
Scotch Plains, New Jersey

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