Though they are 1,150 miles apart, over half of which is Atlantic Ocean, Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio and Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, Bermuda were both founded shortly after World War II to provide opportunities for minorities to play the game. A 12-person team from Ocean View traveled to Clearview for a two-day tournament and celebration of the clubs’ mutual accomplishments, and a return trip by players from the Ohio club to Bermuda is planned for 2017.
Golfers from Bermuda and the United States assembled in Ohio for a two-day tournament held August 20-21 to celebrate the unique shared history of their two clubs, The Royal Gazette of Hamilton, Bermuda reported.
A 12-person team from Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, Bermuda traveled to Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio for the event, which was organized by Renee Powell, a Ladies Professional Golf Association player, and Cheryl-Lynne Thompson, President of Ocean View, to recognize the two clubs’ parallel histories, The Royal Gazette reported.
Clearview Golf Course was founded in 1946 by Renee Powell’s father, Dr. William Powell, and is the only golf course in the United States designed, built, owned and managed by an African-American. The first nine holes, which opened in 1948, were built on an old dairy farm.
William Powell, who died in 2010, was honored in 2009 with the PGA’s Distinguished Service Award (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2009/04/01/bill-powell-named-recipient-of-2009-pga-distinguished-service-award/)
At Ocean View Golf Course, The Royal Gazette reported, founders Erskine Simons, Bill Pitt, Sr., and George Lowe similarly overcame significant adversity and challenges after World War II to open a course that everyone could play on. The course was originally a cow pasture and members had to work towards its development with hand tools and very limited funds and resources, The Royal Gazette reported.
“Both clubs were founded in the 1940s during a time of deep segregation, which created many challenges that were overcome,” Thompson said.
“It was a time of hostility when civil rights tensions were rising and coming to a head. Discrimination and violence was spread to all facets of life, including sports.
“With 2016 marking the 70th anniversary of the Clearview Golf Course, it was very fitting that Bermuda would have a group travel to the course to commemorate the occasion,” Thompson added.
A welcoming reception and dinner were held the night before the two-day competition began, The Royal Gazette reported, during which “a brief history and introductory meet-and-greet took place.”
On the final day of the competition, a barbecue and prize presentation took place at Clearview Golf Course, with every participant receiving a medal and a plaque presented to the Ocean View team to bring back to Bermuda.
“The entire event was nothing short of impressive and unforgettable, with acquaintances being made, friendships being established and bonding being recognized,” Thompson said.
Plans are now being made for a team from Clearview GC to travel to Bermuda in 2017 to continue the new tradition with a competition at the Ocean View course, The Royal Gazette reported.