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Sheila Johnson Speaks Out, Loud And Clear

Back when Augusta National was still holding to its policy of an all-male membership, Sheila Johnson, recently selected for the 15-member USGA Executive Committee, was not a very happy female. “It made me very angry,” she said in a recent interview with Global Golf Post. “It was just another barrier that had to be overcome. It was a ridiculous barrier. I was absolutely thrilled that Condi Rice got in. She’s my friend, she loves the game and she deserves to be there. It was about time.” These days, Johnson is very much concerned about all manner of barriers that seem to be afflicting a game that keeps losing players. Her specific charge is to help the USGA find a way to make golf more inclusive and user-friendly for minorities, women, juniors and disabled golfers. Johnson is uniquely qualified to pursue that challenge. As the first African- American female member of the Executive Committee, she’s faced racial and gender discrimination virtually all her life to become one of the most widely respected businesswomen in the country. A co-founder of Black Entertainment Television with her ex-husband Robert Johnson, this Chicago native who also was trained as a concert violinist now owns and operates three golf resorts in Florida and a brand new hotel and spa in her adopted hometown of Middleburg, Va.


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