Black-Owned Golf Club Added to National Register of Historic Places
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.
An Ohio golf club, believed to be the only golf course in the United States designed, built, owned and managed by an African American, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Clearview Golf Club of East Canton was founded by William J. Powell. It is one of 14 golf courses on the National Register, according to the National Park Service. The Professional Golfer’s Association of America, of which Powell is a life member, initiated the lead in renovating the historic club.
“The PGA of America joins all golf enthusiasts of Ohio in saluting Clearview Golf Club and the William Powell family on this honor,” says Jack Connelly, president of the organization based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. “Clearview Golf Club has evolved along with the game of golf. Having the course listed on the National Register of Historic Places perpetuates the Powell legacy. The PGA is pleased to be part of this significant part of American history.”
Powell, 84, founded the club in 1946. The first nine holes opened in 1948 on what used to be a dairy farm. Today, two of Powell’s children are actively involved in the day-to-day operations at Clearview. His daughter, Renee Powell, serves as the club’s head professional and is founder of the Renee Powell Youth Golf Program. His son, Lawrence Powell, is the course superintendent and a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
“I think it’s quite incredible,” says PGA member Renee Powell, referring to the designation. “It shows what my parents contributed to American history.”
The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus recognized William Powell in 1999 for his service to his state and country. Powell also has been awarded the Cornerstone of Freedom Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. The National Golf Foundation granted the William Powell family the Jack Nicklaus Golf Family of the Year Award in 1992.
Renee Powell said current renovations at the Clearview Golf Club include installing an automatic irrigation system and extending the course from its current 5,900-yard, par-69 configuration to a 6,300-yard, par-72 layout.
“We are excited about the attention we have received and our plans to continue to upgrade the course,” she says.
Clearview Golf Club is one of three National Register courses in Ohio. Scioto Country Club of Columbus was selected in 1985, and Inverness Club of Toledo was selected in 1993.
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