Jake Gaither, the legendary Florida A&M University football coach, is set to receive yet another post-humous honor.
The City of Tallahassee’s Jake Gaither Golf Course will commemorate another significant day in its illustrious 66-year existence on Monday, May 1, when the much-anticipated historical marker for the storied golf course will be presented during a formal ceremony. The city cordially welcomes the community to join in the celebration at 5:30 p.m. at 801 Bragg Drive to take part in the event.
The National Park Service officially recognized the Jake Gaither Golf Course as a National Historic Site last year. This honor is a result of the golf course’s significance in African American history and its connection to the illustrious football coach Jake Gaither.
The golf course, which was built in the 1950s, was one of the few public courses in the area that allowed African Americans to play. During a time when segregation was rampant, the golf course provided a safe and welcoming space for African American golfers.
Gaither, FAMU’s head football coach from 1945 through 1969, was also a devoted golfer and frequently visited the course. Racial barriers were shattered by Gaither’s coaching success, which also served to motivate upcoming generations of African American athletes.
The Jake Gaither Golf Course’s designation as a National Historic Place is a noteworthy acknowledgment of the course’s significance to African American history and its connection to a renowned figure in sports history. Additionally, it emphasizes the significance of maintaining historical sites that shed light on the challenges and triumphs of marginalized people.
“This amazing course has been a pillar of the community for decades,” Mayor John Dailey said in a release from the city. “We are proud to see it achieve national recognition, which is the result of immense dedication over the years by the men and women who have worked and played here — staff, volunteers and golfers.”
Throughout the years, the golfing community at JGGC has included several individuals renowned for their prowess on the course and their eagerness to impart their expertise.
The nine-hole, par 36 Jake Gaither Golf Course was created by Frank Burandt. It is open all year long and features a practice putting green as well as a pro shop with golf accessories, clubs for hire, and snacks.
Visitors will be able to explore the golf course, stop by the pro shop, and watch videos from the new Jake Gaither Golf Course Oral History Project after a brief event on May 1 that includes the unveiling of the historical plaque.
For more information, call the course at 850-891-3942 or follow it on Facebook. Visit JakeGaitherGolf.com for prices and to schedule a tee time.