Highlighting Golf Trailblazers: The Desert Mashie Golf Club

A large group of individuals pose for a picture in front of a clubhouse.

Photo credits: Desert Mashie Facebook page

As Black History Month comes to a close, we reflect on a member of our most recent Hall of Fame class: The Desert Mashie Golf Club. Passion, pride and perseverance are just a few words that come to mind when you hear the Desert Mashie Golf Club name.

The club, which was formed in 1946 by a group of Phoenix area golf enthusiasts after a round at Encanto Golf Course, has grown into a community focused organization that boasts almost 200 members. However, at the time Encanto Golf Course was the only facility in the city where minorities were allowed to play golf. Thus, they created an organization “for all persons interested in golf regardless of race, or ethnicity,” with Encanto as its home course.

With that, the club defined its purpose, commitment and outlined a program for growth, with five objectives established:

1. To provide instructions and clinics for its members

2. To provide organized competition for its members

3. To promote a golf program for youth

4. To promote a program for women

5. To develop better public relations in the total golf community


Just a few years later in 1950, Desert Mashie Golf Club joined the United States Golf Association (USGA) and maintains its membership to this day. In 1953, Desert Mashie Golf Club became a charter member of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA). The founding members of the club were Dr. Thomas A. Crump, Aubrey C. Aldridge, Earl Le Near, Earnest S. Bartlett, Dr. Lowell C. Wormley, Curtis “Dock” Earl, William Robbie” Robinson, Ray Mercado and Densil Perdue.

As a result, the Desert Mashies trailblazed a path over the next 75 years in the golf community all the while championing diversity, inclusiveness and youth development. With youth development being a main focus for the organization they created the annual “Desert Mashie Spring Championship” in 1981, which became a sanctioned JGAA event in 1992. Today, they are recognized as one of the oldest public golf clubs in Arizona.

Visit the following resources to learn more about The Desert Mashie Golf Club and African American Golf History: