Most of the seven women named as honourary members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club came as no surprise, but it was good to see Renee Powell included in that group.
She was the second African-American to play on the LPGA Tour, often traveling and rooming with Canadian Sandra Post.
Considering the discrimination often faced by Powell, it seems appropriate that she is among the first wave of women welcomed after the R&A Golf Club held its historic vote to allow female members in September.
Powell also became the first female to be a head professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom in 1979.
Those are just a few of Powell’s firsts and she would go on to receive the PGA of America’s First Lady of Golf award in 2003 and four years, later the inaugural Rolex For the Love of the Game Award.
In 2008 she was made an honourary Doctor of Laws (LLD) by the University of St Andrews.
Powell comes from a family tradition of growing the game as her dad Bill and mom Marcella opened Clearview Golf Club in 1948 in East Canton, Ohio, the first golf course in the U.S. that was designed, built, owned and operated by African Americans.
Clearview became renowned for welcoming players of all races, which is why I still believe Bill should be in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Other women named as honourary members after last September’s historic vote to allow women members include Princess Anne, Annika Sorenstam, Laura Davies, amateur Belle Robertson, French standout Lally Segard, who became president of the World Amateur Golf Council, and LPGA co-founder Louise Suggs.
Canadian Names To R&A, As Well
Past Golf Canada president Diane Dunlop-Hébert was also named to the R&A Golf Club as an “ordinary” member, not a flattering category, but it means her name was put forward by an existing member and she met certain criteria before being accepted. That list wasn’t made public … The majority of the golf industry doesn’t see a recession coming, but don’t expect to see any major capital expenditures beyond typical expenses this year, according to the last two GNN Polls. The majority, or 62 per cent, said they’re not expecting a recession anytime soon and, as of this writing, this week’s GNN Poll shows 76 per cent not expecting any major expenditures this year at the golf businesses where they work. You can still vote on this week’s poll on the GNN home page … So far, I’ve heard about deactivated glutes and chipping yips to the problems all being in his head as the self-styled experts and media fall over one another to figure out Tiger Woods’ struggles so far this season, as if the leader was a sub-plot. As I’ve said in the past, the problem with this obsession is not Woods himself, but those who can’t look past him, something Billy Horschel illustrated quite nicely after playing with Woods when he pulled out of last week’s Farmers Insurance Open. “Then we saw all these media people scamper away towards him and we said, `How many people will stay with us?’ and we said about 50 and that was about true. So, we went from 600, 700 people watching us to 50, so we became chopped liver. We realized where we stand in this game of golf and we had a good joke about it,” said Horschel … If winter has you down, we leave you with this scene to remind you that spring is actually coming, courtesy of Mike Weir, who tweeted this photo from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
— Weirsy (@MikeWeir) February 10, 2015