USGA Honors African-American Golf Pioneers

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New exhibit at the USGA Museum highlights the life of William “Bill” Powell and the historic Clearview Golf Club.

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'Our exhibition reflects on the lives of the pioneers in African-American golf history and how their courage and convictions changed the game.' - Susan Wasser, USGA Museum assistant director

The United States Golf Association (USGA) is honoring African-American golf pioneers as part of the USGA Museum’s newest exhibit, “More Than A Game,” which focuses on how the creation of African-American golf clubs positively impacted the community despite the pervasive prejudice and racism of the Jim Crow era. The exhibit opens on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, and will run for two years.

The centerpiece of “More Than A Game” is the story of the late William "Bill" Powell and the Clearview Golf Club. Founded in 1946 in East Canton, Ohio, Clearview is the only public golf course in the United States designed, built and owned by an African American.

Curated by Susan Wasser, the USGA Museum’s assistant director, the exhibit is part of the USGA’s ongoing commitment to attracting a diverse audience to the game. This retrospective is one of the initiatives surrounding the African-American Golf History Archive, which was formed in 2010 by the USGA and The PGA of America to collect, preserve and celebrate the history of African Americans in golf. “More Than A Game” is the third exhibit in the USGA Museum since 2010 to celebrate minorities in golf.

“Our exhibition reflects on the lives of the pioneers in African-American golf history and how their courage and convictions changed the game,” said Wasser. “As the world’s leading institution for the study and celebration of golf history, the USGA Museum is a great resource to preserve and share the African-American golf experience in this way.”

To further highlight Powell’s inspirational story of passion and social justice, the exhibit will include a short film produced by Dan Levinson of Moxie Pictures, whose previous work includes the award-winning documentary “Uneven Fairways,” which premiered on Golf Channel in 2009.

As part of this exhibit, the USGA is also honoring other clubs that have made significant contributions to minority golf, including Shady Rest Golf and Country Club in Scotch Plains, N.J., the longtime home course of John Shippen, the first African American to play in a U.S. Open, in 1896; Langston Golf Course in Washington, D.C., home to the Wake-Robin and Royal Golf Clubs, the oldest African-American clubs still in existence; and Freeway Golf Course in Sicklerville, N.J., home course of National Black Golf Hall of Fame member Bill Bishop.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibit, the USGA Museum will host a one-day symposium on Feb. 22. The symposium will feature discussions with Powell’s daughter, Renee, who played on the LPGA Tour for 14 years and is currently the head professional at Clearview; 12-time PGA Tour winner Calvin Peete; United Golfers Association champion Madelyn Turner; and Bishop.

About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit

About the USGA Museum
The United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History is home to the world’s premier collection of golf artifacts and memorabilia. The greatest champions and greatest moments in American golf history come alive at the USGA Museum through entertaining and engaging exhibits that feature multimedia and interactive displays. For more information about the USGA Museum, visit

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Jeff Altstadter