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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Uneven," Tonight on Golf Channel

Will it be must-see TV, or a bit "uneven?" Despite its compelling subject matter, early reviews are mixed for tonight's Golf Channel documentary, Uneven Fairways.

Inspired by Pete McDaniel's book, Uneven Lies, "Fairways" tells the stories of golf's Negro League, the United Golfers Association (UGA), where African-American's played while the PGA Tour was still segregated.

Over at the Orlando Sentinel Dave Darling says that
The documentary is another good reminder of how blacks struggled in this country for decades to achieve equality and how we sometimes take that struggle for granted.
But, unfortunately
it doesn't present much in the way of actual competition that took place on the UGA Tour.
Over at Golfweek, Marty Kaufmann addresses that very issue, noting that it
has an understandable dearth of archival footage.
(Suffice to say, the UGA wasn't on TV Saturday and Sunday afternoons.) Kaufmann also notes that
ironically, the documentary's momentum stalls on the few occasions when Tiger Woods comes on screen.

His presence, while perhaps obligatory, feels forced, interrupting the compelling memories of the men who actually were there.
At the Journal Sentinel Gary D'Amato learned
a lot about an era in which honor and fair play took a back seat to segregation.

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, Uneven Fairways debuts tonight at 9 p.m ET.

Here's a related video of the legendary Charlie Sifford receiving an honorary degree from the University of St. Andrews:

And click here to listen to a radio story about Al Duhon, the second African-American to win a USGA title.

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