On Friday night before the first round of the Mack Champ Invitational, Roland Martin hosted a conversation at the Omni Houston Hotel with Cameron Champ and Lee Elder, who tuned in from home via video conference.
Elder, who broke the color barrier at the Maters in 1975 and will be an honorary starter at Augusta National in 2021, talked about his time on tour, the challenges he faced, the camaraderie he felt with other black golfers of his era, the importance of setting goals for success, and much more. He really brought the house down, though, when Martin asked him about the money games that players of his era competed in to make ends meet.
Martin asked, “Lee, you were hustling folks out of money?”
Without missing a beat, Elder replied: “I wasn’t hustling nobody. They wanted to make a donation.”
Champ spoke about his path to becoming a PGA Tour pro, his current game and tournament routine, the importance of focusing on improving his game while also maintaining a rewarding personal life, his new wife and their love of animals, and his outside-of-golf passion – drag racing.
Jeff Champ, Cameron’s father and the co-founder of the Cameron Champ Foundation, kicked off the evening with advice for the assembled golf parents and also shared some memories about his father, Mack, and Cameron’s junior golf days. Glenn Weckerlin, chairman of the board for the Cameron Champ Foundation, spoke about the foundation’s work and plans for the future.
At the end of the night, Cameron Champ surprised the crowd by handing out new Nike sunglasses for all of the players.