There are a few things that we’ve long known to be true about Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry. He’s really good at basketball. He loves golf. And he wants to use his platform for good.
The basketball part might be the reason we know and love Curry, but it’s the other two things that were on display on Tuesday, when the World Golf Hall of Fame announced that in 2024 Curry will receive the Charlie Sifford Award, which “Honors recipients for their spirit in advancing diversity in golf.”
In addition to being a role model and an icon, Curry has done lots of tangible work to make golf — a sport that is usually not very accessible to people of all genders and racial and socioeconomic backgrounds — a more inclusive game. The two-time NBA MVP launched Underrated Golf in 2021, which brands itself as, “A purpose-driven business endeavor with the overarching commitment to provide equity, access, and opportunity to student-athletes from every community by balancing participation in the sport to truly reflect our society.”
On Underrated Golf’s website, they list part of their mission as the following:
As a predominantly white male sport, the system and institution of golf was designed to benefit certain groups over others. Underrated Golf believes the game of golf is for everyone, but we know that there is significant work to be done to make it a just, fair and inspiring sport for all. We are building that foundation from the bottom up, offering young overlooked golfers special programming experiences including an ongoing speaker series and networking events with brands and corporations, allowing them to understand what it means to make connections and build a successful career. Our platform also serves as a powerful recruitment tool for corporate entities to hire future leaders who will further our mission locally, nationally and globally, while also helping these establishments diversify their staff.
In addition to Underrated Golf, Curry helped Howard University get a golf team up and running for the first time since the 1970s, and pledged to fund the men’s and women’s programs for six years. Howard University becomes the 31st HBCU and 12th Division 1 HBCU to have a golf program.
Greg McLaughlin, the CEO of World Golf Hall of Fame said in a statement that, “Steph Curry has shown passion and a commitment to giving more opportunities to young people who do not have access to the game of golf. Steph’s dedication in advancing diversity in golf epitomizes the groundbreaking work demonstrated by Charlie Sifford. The World Golf Hall of Fame in partnership with Southern Company is committed to ensuring his legacy endures for future generations by recognizing others – like Steph – who are devoted to making golf an environment for all.”
While it’s his work to make golf more accessible and equitable that stands out as most important, Curry’s one hell of a golfer himself. In July, he won the American Century Championship tournament in Tahoe, sinking a walk-off eagle putt to become just the second active athlete to win the popular tournament.
Curry will be presented with the award at the 2024 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held during the 124th US Open at the Pinehursts Resort and Country Club in Curry’s home state of North Carolina. While he’s surely excited and honored to receive the award, he’ll be hoping that he can’t pick it up in person, as it would conflict with the NBA Finals schedule should Curry’s Warriors make a run at a fifth title.