About Us

previous arrow
next arrow
Desert Mashie founders

(Left to right): Ted Rhodes, Dr. Lowell Wormley, Bill Spiller, Dr. Thomas Crump. Rhodes, Chicago and Bill Spiller, Los Angeles were the first Blacks to enter the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, 1952.

The Desert Mashie Golf Club (DMGC) is one of the oldest golf organizations and clubs in Arizona. It was founded by 10 professional African American men on April 12, 1946, in Phoenix, Arizona. Because segregation was the law of the land, most public accommodations were not available to minorities. Encanto Park, on 15th Avenue and Thomas Road, was the only public golf course where they could play at the time. This became the home course for tournaments held by the golf club. Today we enjoy our tournaments in many of the beautiful public golf courses in the Valley of the Sun. The joy and fellowship of playing golf with members adds to the camaraderie and lasting friendships that are a part of the club.

As a member, you will receive a United States Golf Association Handicap Card and at an additional charge you can become a member of the Western States Golf Association. The WSGA is comprised of thirty two clubs in the southwestern states of the country. The WSGA has golfing tournaments all over the southwest on some of the finest golf courses available.

With the club steeped in history like the Desert Mashie Golf Club, the legacy left by the founding fathers is in good hands. The future always looked bright because of our Junior Golf program.

In the early days, young black youth got their start in golf by being caddies. It was a way to earn money and learn the game as well. The DMGC is providing a way to give every youth a chance to learn and play this wonderful game. We design programs for youngsters geared as a hands-on approach to the art of teaching and learning. We provide the equipment for all who need it. The clinics and lessons come with no cost to the juniors. The uniqueness of our program has been developed over the years by our Junior Golf chairperson and committee. In today’s program, each youngster will have a chance to benefit from our experienced members. The continuing education in the history of sport, as well as etiquette, is taught. Through the dedication and hard work of our chairperson and committee members, many of the children who have gone on to be not only good golfers, but also productive members of society. The program is open to all children, regardless of color, creed, or nationality.

The Desert Mashie Golf Club has a Foundation that is a non-profit 501(C) 3 organization, incorporated in the state of Arizona. It was organized to administer the charitable activities of Desert Mashie Golf Club and to expose and educate youth in the game of golf.

Desert Mashie is also open to non-golfers to join in the many activities sponsored by the club each year.

The Desert Mashie Story

On April 12, 1946, in the early afternoon, two foursomes completed eighteen holes of golf at Encanto Golf Course. The scorers for each foursome sat at a picnic table, in the shade of spiraling trees behind the 18th Green determining the number of “skins”. The other members of the group stood around the table. Their emotions were mixed. There were debits and credits conditions to be satisfied.

Dr. Clarence Bradford, a member of Cosmopolitan Golf Club of Los Angeles, was one of the golfers. He was greatly impressed by the enthusiasm for golf exhibited by the men. This observation prompted him to remark, “You fellows should organize a club.” The rapidity with which the suggestion was accepted and acted upon indicated that a sense of readiness was dormant in each person.

Ernest Bartlett, James “Doc” Earl, Ray Mercado, Densil Purdue and William “Robbie” Robinson appointed Dr. Thomas Crump and Aubrey Aldridge temporary President and Secretary of the organizational group.

On May 10, 1946, an organizational meeting was held, and all persons interested in golf were invited. When this meeting adjourned, the name DESERT MASHIE GOLF CLUB and the following membership roster had emerged:

Dr. Thomas A. Crump, President
Aubrey C. Aldridge, Secretary
Earl Le’Near Bartlett Treasurer
Dr. Lowell C. Wormley
Densil Purdue
Curtis Ramsey
James “Doc” Earl
William “Robbie” Robinson
Ray Mercado

In subsequent meetings, Desert Mashie Golf Club justified its purpose and outlined a program for growth. We believe that a viable golf club has certain basic needs.

Thus, these objectives were established:

  1. To provide instructions and clinics for its members
  2. To provide organized competition for its members
  3. To promote a golf program for youth
  4. To promote a golf program for women
  5. To develop better public relations in the total golf community.

In 1950, Desert Mashie Golf Club joined the United States Golf Association (USGA) and still maintains its membership to this day.  In 1953, Desert Mashie Golf Club became a charter member of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA). From 1946 to 2015, the membership of Desert Mashie Golf Club grew from 10 members to 174 members.