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Kickstart This: Documentary on Seattle-Based Black Golf Club Established in 1947

Kickstart This: Documentary on Seattle-Based Black Golf Club Established in 1947

Director Rudy Horn says he got inspired to make this documentary after encouragement from Facebook friends. As he says: “It started with a Facebook post of mine from last summer. I posted the photograph [below-left] of two of my favorite golfing buddies, Luscious Dean and Bill Lynch, who are respectively 90 years old and 88 years old. In the post I wrote ‘these guys have a rich history, someone should make a documentary about them.’ Almost immediately the post got a lot of attention, with messages coming back from all over the country saying, ‘Why not you Rudy?’ It wasn’t until this post that I realized, much to my surprise, for many years I had been preparing myself to make this film… I have never considered making a film before. I just love golf and have a lot of love and respect for these two men. They are sharp, witty and clever and I have learned so much spending time with them and listening to their stories. During the process of starting this project and figuring out how to capture their voices on film, I began to uncover not just their personal stories, but the dynamic history of the club they belonged to, Fir State Golf Club. As the idea took form, I received a lot of encouragement to find a way to do it. To my surprise this encouragement started coming from friends in the arts community – photographers, visual artists, performers and film makers. They totally believed in this project. Some were golfers and some knew nothing about the sport but all were convinced that my passion to make this film and my long term relationships with the Fir State Club members could carry this project.”

And thus the documentary “Out of the Rough: Stories from Fir State Golf Club” was born.

What is the Fir State Golf Club? Again, from the filmmaker: “It’s a primarily Black golf club, who chose to call themselves Fir State after Washington’s state tree. To them, the evergreen fir tree was a symbol of strength and the ability to weather many storms. The club was established in 1947 to provide nonwhites an opportunity to learn and participate fully in the sport of golf. Up until that time, and in most places around the United States, including Seattle, clubs and tournaments were not open to golfers of color. Regardless of their abilities, they were left out of opportunities to compete, gain recognition and acquire the economic rewards afforded to other quality golfers. This was true and condoned legally throughout the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. At a time when Rosa Parks had not yet been arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus and the 14th amendment to the US constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was still 17 years away, these determined golfers became some of the earliest heroes in the fight for equality and racial justice in Seattle.”

There’s a lot more where the above came from, so I’ll just point you to the Kickstarter campaign that the filmmaker has launched to help complete the film. His goal is to raise $18,000, and is, thus far, about halfway there, with just over $8500, and 15 days left to go in the campaign. 

So watch the pitch video below, and if you’re sold, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to make a contribution here:

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