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Clearview Golf Course: 70 Years

February 28, 2017

To finish off Black History Month, here's a look at a story from back in August done for The Outlet on a golf course built by hand in Ohio in 1946 by William B. Powell. Mr. Powell, as his friends loving called him and still do after his passing, came back to the United States after serving in World War II and found that he could not golf on American courses as he did in Europe due to racial segregation. Not giving in, he decided to build his own course, which still stands to this day. Below is the attached audio story and transcript. 

 

It's a blue-sky summer Saturday on Clearview Golf Course in East Canton, Ohio. The grounds are welcoming the playing styles of golfing greats Jim Dent and football greats such as, Hall of Famers Leroy Kelly and Franco Harris.

 

It's the 32nd annual William Powell Celebrity Golf Tournamentnamed in honor of the course's founder, Mr. Powell. Since his passing his family has taken over and even though this is a special day, his son, the course's superintendent Larry Powell, is hard at work on the grounds just like it's any other day of the week

                      

Larry Powell: "The course is 70 year's old but it's been a hard 70," says Larry. "A difficult 70, a hardworking lot of back breaking into that 70. A lot of blood, sweat and tears." 

 

"The basis of the course was, when it was established, it was established as a course for everybody to play at, it wasn't excluding anybody. And the rules weren't based on race or religion or sex or anything like that. Rules were based on a person conducting themselves as a gentleman or a lady on the course." 

 

Mr. William Powell built the course because he was not aloud to play at other clubs because he was black. In order to have a successful course though everyone in the family had to pitch in, including Larry's mother.

 

Larry Powell: "If it wasn't for my mother this course wouldn't be here. Because you have to remember, my mother was raising children, so you have to know my Dad was working another job, so when he goes to that job who's taking care of the shop and so forth here? She was."

 

"She was responsible for the shop and ultimately she had a responsibility for everything going on on this golf course."

 

The family theme that was present at the beginning still rings true today as Larry works on the course and his sister Renee runs the pro shop and makes sure things continue to run smoothly.

 

She is quite the story herself as she was just the second black golfer in the LPGA Tour's history, and she's been honored repeatedly for that throughout her career. However, it is this course that she takes the most pride in. She hopes that it is a place that has a legacy that lasts. She speaks on the magic of Clearview.

 

Renee Powell: "You go to the St. Andrews and to the Old Course and you don't really, until you walk on those grounds, and then you just feel the spirits of everybody around, and I think that people get that when they come to Clearview. You know, once they get to know what the history is and the significance of it."

 

Clear view Golfcourse is historic and Renee, Larry and all the people who play on it hope that it has at least another 70 years, if not many more, still to come.

 

 

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