Tiger Woods says golfers from ethnic minorities are being handicapped as they aim to reach the top of the sport.
Woods is one of only a handful of US African-Americans to reach the top
Woods, who became the first golfer with African-American heritage to win the US Masters in 1997, insists authorities need to address the problem.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "Once they're hooked on the game do they have an opportunity to continue and progress through the sport?
"The answer to that is often no and we need that answer to always be yes."
Despite Woods' success, the predicted influx of golfers from ethnic minorities to the highest level of the sport has failed to materialise, and the world number one wants more opportunities for young golfers.
He added: "We need to get them out to participate and once they're hooked we need to give them the access to continue their progression, that's the hard part."
Royal and Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson also highlighted the problem, admitting that the image of the game is turning golfers from ethnic minorities away from the sport.
He told BBC Sport: "Clearly we're not seeing enough ethnic minority golfers in golf, particularly considering the size of their population or the fact that Tiger is at the top of the game. This is a big challenge of golf.
"It's a reputation that doesn't do the game any good and it perhaps makes people shy about joining the game.
"I think golf clubs are now being forced to open their doors through market pressure to the public at large."