AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) – Another 300-yard drive into the back of the range, Andre Lacy is a chip off the old block.

“He was a long hitter, he was a long hitter, and lots of times people would just watch him hit the ball and he could hit it, he could hit it,” said Lacy.

Lacy learned the game of golf from his grandfather, former PGA pro Jim Dent, one of the few African-American golfers on tour in the 80’s. He was known for hitting the ball deep and he got his start right here at the Augusta Municipal golf course.

“I’ve seen him out here more than I would on TV,” said Lacy.

Just a few years ago, this course, the one that first allowed black players in Augusta, was ready to close down. A move that would effectively have erased history for black golf pioneers like Jim Dent.

“They talked about selling the course, they leased it out, that didn’t work, that only lasted 3-4 months, and people just left,” said Ira Miller, GM at Augusta Municipal.

Miller led the new management to bring the course back. He said in the days of segregation, most of the black caddies at Augusta National would drive a few miles over to Augusta Municipal after work so they could play golf.

“I think it was great that they had a place to play and a matter of fact, most of the caddies that caddied at Augusta National they played golf here. This is where they learned to play golf,” said Miller.

Today, Lacy is trying to carve his own path to the PGA, hitting ball after ball on the same grass as his grandfather. To him, the Augusta Municipal is much more than just a golf course.

“Words really can’t describe it, I work here, I work on my professional career here. I wanna do everything I can to keep the course going as well, it’s important to our community,” said Lacy.

Copyright 2016 WFXG. All rights reserved.

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