Renee Powell, one of seven women named in the first wave of women accepted as honourary members in the Royal and Ancient Golf Club recently discussed her strong ties to Canada, her career as the second African American to play the LPGA Tour, her work and accomplishments in making golf accessible to everybody and her family legacy.
Click below to listen to the extensive discussion with Hutch. With both segments. please allow approximately 10 seconds for the sound to cue up.
Powell now lives in East Canton, Ohio, where her father Bill built Clearview Golf Course, which emphasized accessibility to all despite their race or gender. It’s a legacy that Renee has carried on, but that message hasn’t been limited to the U.S.
As a matter of fact, she has a strong tie to Canada with her close friend Sandra Post, who she first met in junior golf and roomed and traveled with when both played on the LPGA Tour.
“We’ve had this major connection – like sisters really,” she said of her friendship with Post.
“I was really curious as to who might be selected. I saw various names of people who I knew and when I received an invitation (to join the Royal and Ancient Golf Club), then I was like, let me read over this again.”
“I love the game. I love spreading the word and trying to get as many people to play the game as possible, I know my dad would always say that everyone deserves an opportunity to play the game of golf, which is one of the reasons he ended up building Clearview Golf Course back in 1946.”
In the second segment, she chats about her upbringing and watching her dad toil as Clearview came together, just one of the reasons that she and many others believe that Bill deserves induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“He walked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, seeding each fairway. I would think wow, when people talk about knowing every blade of grass, he did … He was the superintendent. He was the golf pro. He taught. He literally built the course.”
“When people talk about lifetime achievement, that certainly is a category my dad would fall under. It was really a lifetime achievement.”
“A lot of people didn’t know who I was. I’m sure a lot of them were surprised – who is this person? … My dad did the same thing without a lot of fanfare.”