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Blakeview: Joseph M. Bartholomew

The local golfing great built several courses


As we revisit Bayou Barriere's history and see the opening this week (April 21) of the new Bayou Oaks Golf Course in City Park, we remember a local golfing great who designed many local courses. Joseph M. Bartholomew was born in New Orleans in 1885 and became a caddy at Audubon Park Golf Course when he was just 7 years old. He taught himself the game of golf in the 1920s and went to work at Metairie Country Club. Club members sent him to New York to learn about golf course architecture. Over the next decade, Bartholomew built several local courses, including one at Metairie Country Club and two at City Park. Because of segregation, Bartholomew, an African-American, could not play on any of the courses he designed. In the 1950s, he designed the course at Pontchartrain Park, which was open to African-Americans. Bartholomew died in 1971. The following year, he became the first African-American inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. In 1979, the Pontchartrain Park golf course was renamed in his honor.

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