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Native Links: The Surprising Connections between Our First Peoples and the Game of Golf

November 30 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to host a presentation by Dr. Mark Wagner in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

Just as there can be no history of America without recognizing our Native and First Peoples, the history of golf now cannot be fully told without Native Americans. Why? A number of tribes in the new millennium, aided in part by gaming licenses, have built resort golf courses, employing some of the finest architects of our era: the Jones brothers, golfer Ben Crenshaw and his business partner Bill Coore, Jeff Brauer, Christine Fraser, and Notah Begay III, a professional-golfer-turned-TV-analyst.

Some 55 tribes now own and operate golf courses, and some have hosted events by the Professional Golf Association and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. This work led me to discovering the Native individuals who played a role in golf, including Frank Dufina, Rod Curl and others.

This aspect of Native history, however, has been long overlooked until now. Dr. Mark Wagner will consider the philosophies of the earth that Tribal Cultures bring to course design, and consider some of the key Native figures in the game, which indisputably begins with Oscar Smith Bunn, who was born about 1875 on the Shinnecock Reservation on Long Island and went on to become a Shinnecock tribal trustee, a Hall of Fame caddie, a professional golfer and teacher, and a woodcarving artist.


Jacob Edwards Library
236 Main Street
Southbridge, MA United States
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