Written by By Staff Writer
When Tiger Woods was still in elementary school, Stacy Prammanasudh was already a professional golfer in Taiwan.
She got her start in the amateur ranks but by age 14 won a tournament. By 17, Prammanasudh was playing in the LPGA – she had been the first Black player to ever win a tour event.
“The whole golfing scene had changed, all the girls were playing with the girls and the boys were starting to play with the boys.”
In 1982, Prammanasudh became the first black player to play on the US Women’s Pro Tour — where she played for eight years.
It was part of a wider problem with Asian representation in golf — the sport rarely reached Asian countries.
‘Dreams are to get on tour’
“During the 1980s, the Asian Tour was the biggest professional golf tour in the world but nobody really wanted to come here. We had no sponsors and no money,” says Prammanasudh.
“When I joined the tour I said to myself, ‘Dreams are to get on tour.”
Women’s golf isn’t exactly thriving in the country today, but opportunities have opened up for female professionals in the sport since.
Allan Cheng, director of world rankings for the LPGA Tour, says many Asian women are making inroads in the sport because there has been a cultural shift.
“We have more golf programs for junior girls here. There are more players and more countries are getting involved, especially China,” he says.
Cheng says that a new trend in the sport in Asia is for golfers to play as teams.