FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 1961 Project by Eastside Golf Sheds Light on Golf’s Past with Race and Pushes for a More Inclusive Future
Encompasses footwear, apparel, storytelling and community initiatives designed to acknowledge history while prompting change at every level of the sport
ATLANTA, GA (Sept. 14, 2023) – Eastside Golf, a brand known for merging golf and fashion in a unique way, is introducing the 1961 Project to shine a light on golf’s complicated history as they continue to work toward a more inclusive future for the sport.
September 11, 1961, marks a pivotal moment in history, as it is the day that the PGA of America revoked the Caucasian-only clause, following persistent advocacy and legal battles led by trailblazing Black golfers such as Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes. These efforts, and numerous years of competing and triumphing in tournaments led by Black golfers led to Charlie Sifford being the first African American to participate in the PGA TOUR.
The 1961 Project includes a footwear collaboration with Jordan Brand, an apparel collection along with compelling content and a series of community initiatives created to help support and inspire the next generation of golf professionals.
“When it comes to Eastside Golf, I want to see the brand continue to change the sport, and shift perspectives on how people around the world view the sport,” said Co-Founder Earl Cooper. “With the 1961 Project, I want people to learn about the change-makers who paved the way for more people of color to pursue this field and get a fair shot.”
With a shared vision of creating opportunities of change and growing diversity within the game of golf, Jordan Brand and Eastside Golf come together for their third collaboration, titled “Change. 1961” The three-shoe collection — featuring an Air Jordan 1 High Golf, Jordan ADG, and Air Jordan 6 Low Golf — provides a canvas for conversation that pays homage to the Black golf trailblazers of the past while also serving as a catalyst in driving future and actionable change. The raffle for all three shoes is open at EastsideGolf.com and they will be available for purchase at Nike on September 19.
Change and 1961 also show up throughout the apparel collection. The capsule consists of 12 pieces including long and short-sleeved tees, polos, hoodies, jogging sets, track suits, belts, hats, socks and more. The color way of the apparel coordinates well with the shoe assortment, with black, green, and cream varieties across items, making it easy to mix and match.
“Designing this special collection, we knew we wanted the story and message of 1961 to be about where golf has been as to where it is going,” said Founder Olajuwon Ajanaku. “I created Eastside Golf to improve the experience and entry points for new, young, and emerging working professionals by providing a culturally influenced experience of the game.”
To celebrate the launch of the 1961 Project, the brand will be hosting the inaugural Eastside Golf Invitational taking place in San Diego from September 24 to September 25. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Morehouse College golf team, to boost funding and support the futures of those who seek to pursue professional careers in golf. The founders of Eastside Golf, Earl and Olajuwon, were golf teammates while studying at Morehouse College, leading to their eventual business partnership.
Fans are encouraged to check out the 2-min film, UNBANNED 1961 to learn more about golf's long journey toward inclusivity and the power of social change. The content offers viewers a glimpse of the past and highlights how the future of golf isn’t just about players, but about change, breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and changing the world.
Eastside Golf is on a mission to inspire culture, promote diversity, and continue to be authentic in any space. Grab your 1961 merch and be a part of the change today! To keep up with the latest news from Eastside Golf, fans can find newest drops and content on https://eastsidegolf.com/ or on the Eastside Golf app.
Eastside Golf was founded on June 1st, 2019, and has quickly grown into a brand that has shifted the culture of golf on and off the course. The mission of Eastside Golf is to be the lifestyle brand customers deserve — forging new paths and breaking barriers by designing and curating classic lifestyle wear of the highest quality so every customer can authentically express themselves in comfortable luxury. Eastside Golf’s community outreach and golf education aims to connect young professionals and non-golfers with education, resources, and encouragement to love the game. Learn more at https://eastsidegolf.com/, at Facebook.com/EastsideGolf/ or Instagram and Twitter through @EastsideGolf.