In the world of amateur golf, it looks like a star is born. Ginger Howard, an outstanding young golfer, will compete in the Junior Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland.
The tournament will be held Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.
For Black golfers this is a major breakthrough in a sport that was traditionally for the elite. Howard’s selection should provide some inspiration to a number of African Americans playing the game.
Robert Howard, Ginger’s father, who grew up in West Philadelphia, has a good sports background. Howard, a graduate of West Catholic and Temple, was a great tennis player. He played tennis for the Owls.
Howard is proud of his daughter’s accomplishment.
“She will be the first African-American woman to play in the (Junior) Ryder Cup,” Robert said. “She has worked extremely hard. She has earned her place. She has played some phenomenal golf.”
This has been a great summer for Howard, 16, who trains at the IMG Academy golf program in Bradenton, Fla. with her family. She landed her spot on the team by finishing second at the Junior PGA Championship. She lost on the third playoff hole.
The Junior Ryder Cup is played every two years. The teams are comprised of six boys and six girls. The players are all under the age of 18.
“I feel really good about it,” Ginger said. “Everybody is excited about it. My family and friends have been very supportive and the people at IMG (Academies). I really like golf. I watch Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer and Annika Sorenstam all the time.”
Howard has been playing the game since she was 6 years old. She has always enjoyed the game. Howard competes in golf tournaments around the country.
“My mother (Gianna Howard) and father have taken me to play in a lot of golf tournaments,” Ginger said. “I’ve been to Indiana, Florida, Texas and Georgia to play golf. My dad usually drives me to the tournaments.”
Robert and his wife, Gianna have three other children: daughter Robbi, 15, and sons Robert Jr., 8, and Giulian, 2. Robbi and Robert play golf, too.
Robbi is a rising star in golf.
“Robbi is coming along very nicely,” Robert said. “She can really drive the ball down the fairways.”
Ginger feels her sister has plenty of talent.
“Robbi is great,” she said. “She has good length in her swing. She’s younger than me. She’s getting better all the time.”
Ginger will be quite busy over the next few days polishing her skills in preparation for the Junior Ryder Cup.
“I want to work on my short game,” she said. “Putting is definitely going to come into play. I’ll be spending a lot of time on that. This is a great opportunity. I can’t wait to go over there and play.”