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John Shippen


Inducted in 2009

A former caddie at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, John Shippen was a pioneer black golfer who became the first person of color to compete in the U.S. Open in 1896.

Born in Washington, D.C., John Shippen was introduced to the game of golf as a young caddie at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY. He was taught the game by the club’s Scottish professional, Willie Dunn, and, at the age of 17, competed in the 1896 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Shippen was allowed to compete because he registered as a Native America – his mother was a Shinnecock Indian – and not as a black man. He played in the U.S. Open five more times, with his last appearance coming in 1902. Shippen died in 1968.

For his work making golf more inclusive, John Shippen earned a place in the Caddie Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who support caddying.