Ever since he was a caddy for middle- and upper-class white men in 1950s, Roosevelt Wilmore has been in love with the game of golf.
“You can call it a drug. Whatever it is, I’m hooked.”
From the very beginning it was hard for him to find ways to play, given the color of his skin. Nonetheless, he and his friends did whatever they could to play the game they loved. “I remember we’d cut up branches we found, sharpen ’em. Real Stone Age stuff… If they don’t want you, don’t complain because you can’t play somewhere. Just make it on your own. If they can do it, I can do it.”
This positive attitude, coupled with his obsession for perfecting his swing and being out on the course or range, is what has motivated Wilmore over the past 55 years.
Not long ago–just before retiring–Rosey, as he’s known to his golfing buddies, fell ill and had to undergo several serious medical procedures. He underwent triple bypass surgery, dialysis, as well as other potentially life-threatening ailments. Many people in his situation simply put up their hands and give up. Others, blame God for their misfortunes.
But Rosey? All he needed was golf.
“What do I have to be mad at God for? I’m not mad at God. I’m happy he let me see the other side,” Wilmore said. “People don’t even realize what they’re missing.”
Rosey’s can-do outlook on life has helped bring him to the Strawberry Mansion’s Longknockers Driving Range–his favorite local hangout– at least three times every week.
“All thanks to golf,” he said, “I feel like I’m 19.”