Ohio, United States: Since the end of World War II, making golf available to minorities has been the family business for the Powell family.
Started in 1946 by family patriarch Bill Powell, a World War II veteran and entrepreneur, Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, is the country’s first golf course built and owned and operated by an African-American.
Powell died 10 years ago, but the golf course he built from the ground up still is owned today by his children Renee and Larry, and they have carried on his legacy by bringing golf to an underserved community in northeastern Ohio.
She is the club’s pro and Larry is its superintendent.
For her years of dedication to the golf industry as an ambassador to the game as a playing and teaching professional, Renee Powell has been named the recipient of the Donald Ross Award, presented annually by the American Society of Golf Course Architects to one ‘who has made significant and lasting contributions to the profession of golf course architecture’.
Powell has been playing golf since age 11, is the second black woman to play the LPGA Tour and was a touring pro in the United States and the United Kingdom for 13 years. She captained women’s golf teams at Ohio University and Ohio State, and has served as an ambassador of the game on USO tours to dozens of countries during the past five decades.
The Clearview Legacy Foundation, established in 2001, has a three-pronged mission of promoting education by using golf as a tool to reach children, minorities, veterans and the disabled; preservation of the history of the game and Clearview’s place in it and turfgrass research through work to develop, achieve and promote sustainable turfcare practices.
The course was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 19 years ago.
The first African-American woman to earn Class A PGA membership, Powell was named an Honorary Member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 2015. Brother Larry has been the Clearview superintendent for more than five decades.