Listen Live

Shippen continued his game on the east coast, and from 1913 to 1915, he served as private instructor for the wealthiest clients. His client list included steel magnate Henry C. Frick, James Cromwell and former New Jersey Governer J.S. Freylinghuysen. From 1918 to 1920, Shippen worked the greens in Southampton. He later became co-owner of a course he designed in Laurel, Maryland.

As more racism ensued and Jim Crow laws took over the golf clubs and the PGA, Shippen’s professional game turned to the United Golfers Association (UGA), an African American golfers association.  He retired as the greens keeper and head pro at Shady Rest Golf and Country Club.

Pro golfer and pioneer, John Shippen, passed away in a nursing home on May 15, 1968 at age 89. It would be some time later when a gravestone was erected on the grounds of the Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey. The memorial efforts were led by Thurman P. Simmons, chairman of the John Shippen Memorial Golf Foundation.

Little Known Black History Fact: John Shippen, First Black Pro Golfer  was originally published on

« Previous page 1 2