More threads by Retired


The slender elderly man holding court on the fairway at Langston Golf Course with a group of young black children summed up his life and his lesson for them with this dead-on verbal strike:

"I am considered the best ball-striker in the history of the game," Calvin Peete said as the kids surrounded him. "A black man. So they can't say that we can't do it."

Calvin Peete did it and did it well. He was considered one of golf's most accurate drivers when he played in the 1980s and won 11 PGA Tour events, including the Tournament Players Championship in 1985. He is on the short list of pioneers in golf who have blazed the trail Tiger Woods has since set on fire. Peete, like Charles Sifford and Lee Elder before him, not only had to blaze that trail as one of the few black golfers to have an impact on the game, but did so while battling -- Tourette syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed until seven years ago.

He had it since he was a young man -- the neck-jerking, the shoulder movements -- but it became more pronounced, and eventually drove him off the Champions Tour by 2001. But Peete left his mark on that tour as well, and is still listed number one in driving accuracy percentage -- 80.9 percent -- in 56 senior events.

Peete, 63, says his Tourette is now under control. When not with his family in Florida, he spends much of his time coming to places like Langston and helping mentors like fellow African-American Golfers Hall of Famer Jimmy Garvin -- who runs the course and oversees myriad youth golf and education programs at Langston -- convince young black men and women that they can succeed. Not just in golf, but in life.


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Re: Before Tiger-->Peete

This is a great story, Steve.

I think real-life stories about individuals who have overcome obstacles are inspiring to all of us when we have struggles in our own lives.


Re: Before Tiger-->Peete

Hi Steve,
It is nice to read stories about individuals over coming obstacles. Great post! Thank you for sharing it with the forum. I enjoyed reading it very much.
Take care :)


Re: Before Tiger-->Peete

real-life stories about individuals who have overcome obstacles are inspiring to all of us when we have struggles in our own lives

Considering Mr. Peete's age of 63 and the fact that he was diagnosed seven years ago at the age of 56 suggests that like those of us diagnosed late in life, he grew up in an age when Tourette was not recognized by most physicians.

That being the case, his story is that much more remarkable, because he would have had to develop coping strategies on his own, whereas kids diagnosed with Tourette today are give various types of counseling, testing and guidance.

Not that many years ago when Tourette awareness was limited, kids with the disorder often grew up pressured by parents and teachers to stop their "bad habits" which of course exacerbated the severity of the tics.

In addition people growing up and not having a diagnosis lived always wondering what was wrong with them.

One of my personal high profile heroes is Dr. Mort Doran, a surgeon, now retired, who practiced in British Columbia and who was diagnosed late in life with Tourette. Dr. Doran was one of the earliest high profile people to create awareness of Tourette Syndrome by appearing on several TV and radio programs in the seventies and eighties.

Dr. Doran explained how a person with Tourette could face the challenge of dealing with their disorder by discovering the positive aspects of their own Tourette and use these to their advantage in living their lives.
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