A Shared History

By | May 23rd, 2017

A two-day competition between Ocean View Golf Course and Clearview Golf Club highlighted the properties’ shared histories of racial inclusiveness.

Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio and Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, Bermuda celebrated their shared histories of racial inclusiveness.

In addition to their similar names, Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio and Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, Bermuda also share similar histories of racial inclusiveness during tumultuous times.

A few years ago, Cheryl-Lynne Thompson, President of Ocean View, began looking around the world for a golf course that had a similar history. Ocean View overcame significant adversity and challenges after World War II to open a course that all races could play.

Thompson found and contacted Renee Powell, the LPGA Head Golf Professional of Clearview, whose father, Dr. William Powell, founded the club in 1946. Clearview remains the only golf course in the United States designed, built, owned and managed by an African-American.

“Both clubs were founded in the 1940s during a time of deep segregation, which created many challenges that were overcome,” Thompson told The Royal Gazette of Hamilton, Bermuda. “Discrimination and violence was spread to all facets of life, including sports.”

In 2016, Clearview celebrated its 70th anniversary and hosted a group of golfers from Ocean View for a two-day, Ryder Cup-style international match with eight men and four women from each property.

Before the competition began, Clearview hosted a dinner and offered medals to participants from both teams. The Ocean View team was so impressed with the hospitality, their club plans to return the favor this year on October 20-21, when Clearview members will be invited to Bermuda.

Though Powell isn’t sure if the tradition of traveling back and forth between the properties will continue beyond 2017, she has enjoyed sharing the two courses’ mutual histories.

“Last year was my first time doing anything like this,” Powell says. “Hopefully it will continue—it was really quite nice.”

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