While touring on the UGA's pro circuit, Rhodes, along with Bill Spiller and Madison Gunther, played in the LA Open and filed for their entry into the PGA's Richmond Open after qualifying for the event. The PGA sent their applications for the event back to them pointing out the Caucasian-only clause, which prevented anyone who wasn't white from playing in the PGA Tour. The three men brought this problem to the courts to fight the fairness of the PGA's policy towards minorities. The PGA ultimately decided to settle this matter outside of court and offered to revoke the old Caucasian-only clause. The men saw this as a victory and didn't pursue more changes, but the PGA made all of their events to be by invitations only. This new rule essentially kept minorities out of the PGA by tricking Rhodes and others into believing the invitations were not based on race.
After this ordeal, Rhodes would never try to fight the PGA over their discrimination again, but would play on a tour after he was invited to Phoenix Open in 1950. Rhodes would leave a legacy that is still being felt in today's world of golf. The Cumberland Golf Course changed its name to the Ted Rhodes Golf Course a month after Rhodes's death in 1969. He was inducted into the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame in 1997 and was granted posthumous membership to the PGA in 2009. Many golfers claim they owe their success to Rhodes for his fight for equality in golf. Tiger Woods would even mention Rhodes in his victory speech after he won his first Masters in 1997.