(FOX 9) - To say Eddie Manderville loved the game of golf would be an understatement.
"He was giving me tips on his death bed. He would say, ‘I wish I could get up to show you!’ and I said, ‘No, I think you need to rest here,’" Martha Arradondo, a friend of Manderville, told FOX 9.
Manderville was a pillar and an icon at Theodore Wirth Golf Course in Minneapolis, affiliated with the course for more than 60 years, even sinking two back-to-back holes in one there in 2013.
But he wasn’t always welcome at the place he loved. Manderville was initially denied access to the clubhouse at Theodore Wirth because of the color of his skin. Now, that same building could soon bear his name.
"It just would mean a lot to the community. It would mean a lot to the African American golf community," Arradondo said, who is the co-founder of Black Women On Course, a group that supports the development of black female golfers.
She’s behind the push to rename the Wirth Chalet to the Eddie Manderville Chalet. Manderville was instrumental in breaking the color barrier in Minnesota golf and teaching the next generation about the greatest game ever played.
A public push is growing to rename the chalet at the Theodore Wirth chalet after a Black golfer who was once denied access to its golf course.
"Eddie would teach kids, he would teach adults the game of golf. He loved it and he especially wanted to make sure the African American community knew about golf," Manderville said.
He passed away in 2020, but his presence can still be felt on these fairways. Arradondo hopes the memories of Manderville can become tangible in the renaming of the chalet so the next generation of golfers can see and learn about his legacy.
The Minneapolis Park Board held their first of two public hearings on the renaming in April. The Park Board’s naming policy dictates that commissioners wait two years to take a final vote on renaming proposals. The second public hearing on the renaming will occur in September 2023.
The renaming would only apply to the chalet. The golf course and park would remain Theodore Wirth.