KRWG

'A Horrific Experience': Police Called On Group Of Black Women Golfers In Pennsylvania

Apr 27, 2018
Originally published on April 27, 2018 1:27 pm

The five black women kicked off the course at the Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, last weekend are not sure what happens now.

The women, all middle-aged professionals, members of the club and a broader organization for black female golfers called Sisters in the Fairway, were on the second hole when the owner’s father, Steve Chronister, told them they were playing too slow and offered them a refund to leave.

Shaken, they skipped a hole. By the time they got to the 10th, the women were confronted again by Chronister and his son, club owner Jordan, and several other white men and were told to leave.

Sandra Thompson, a lawyer and member of the group, began recording.

]

The police were called and the women’s memberships were rescinded. Jordan Chronister’s wife later called and apologized. But then in a statement to The Los Angeles Times, the club seemed to take that back.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Myneca Ojo, who was with Thompson when she recorded the video of the confrontation.

“It was a horrific experience,” Ojo says. “It was very … it created a lot of anxiety. We had a lotta high hopes for, you know, participating and contributing to this course.”

Interview Highlights

On how the confrontation began

“The rules of the game is that you have to keep pace with the people that are in front of you. When we all as a group approached hole two, there was a group already on the green just finishing up. We saw Steve Chronister actually walking across hole one toward us on hole two. The assumption was that he was coming out to greet us, because he wasn’t in a cart and he wasn’t in any distinguishing clothes that indicated that he was connected to the Grandview golf course. And so he approached Karen Crosby and myself, and said, ‘I am the owner. You need to pick up the pace.’ ”

On what her group was thinking at that point

“You know, just to comply, keep up with everyone. We just skipped hole three and went to four. And so as we approached 10, there were some other players just about ready to tee off. The guys that were standing there with the beers came over to us and said, ‘Well, you’re gonna have to have to leave the course,’ and we’re like, ‘What?’ Three of the women, which were Sandra Harrison, Karen Crosby and Carolyn Dow, were too upset to play anymore. And so they left.”

On how they felt as the men approached

“We can’t believe this is happening. We felt threatened. They were approaching us. The other guy was holding them back. This has been totally devastating.”

On if it would be justified for the women to be removed from the course if it turned out they were slowing the pace

“Not in the manner in which it occurred. The protocols of the course is that we’re respectful to each other, we’re respectful to the players that are ahead of us and we’re also very respectful to those that are behind us. So our goal always is to keep pace with the people that are in front of us. We finished up eight holes in an hour and 45 minutes, and that was with five players. The rules of the game at that particular course is that you have to finish up 18 holes in four hours and 15 minutes.”

On whether this happened because they were five black women

“Yes, and both equally — both the gender aspect of it, and the racial aspect of it. I strongly feel that the approach was based on the racial aspect of it. I strongly feel that the perception of them thinking that we were playing slowly was because of the fact that we were women. That is a bias in the sport, is that women play slower.”

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.