Renee Powell headlines inductees into the PGA of America Hall of Fame

Renee Powell headlines inductees into the PGA of America Hall of Fame

See All News

Pro Football Hall of Fame board member Renee Powell was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame last night in Austin, Texas.

“The PGA of America takes great pride in welcoming this exceptional class into the PGA Hall of Fame. They represent some of the most significant contributors to our Association and to the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Paul Levy. “This class captured many of the prize jewels of our sport; stood strong against social injustice; inspired junior players and future professionals; gave hope to military Veterans; and whose on-course success left an indelible mark in our sport. Their names will be inscribed among those who have made golf the greatest game.”

Powell is the PGA Head Professional at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, and one of this America’s foremost educators and ambassadors of the game of golf. Powell was the second African-American woman to compete on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. She is the first woman of color to be elected to membership in the PGA of America (1996), and in 2015, was named one of seven women as Honorary Members of the 260-year-old Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Born in Canton, Ohio, Powell was introduced to golf and coached by her late father, William, the only African American to design, build, own, and operate a golf course in the United States, and a 2013 inductee into the PGA of America Hall of Fame. She graduated from Central Catholic High School in Canton in 1964, and attended Ohio University and Ohio State University, serving as captain of the women’s golf team at each institution.

When Powell turned professional in 1967, her first competition was the U.S. Women's Open. She went on to compete in 250 professional events and won the 1973 Kelly Springfield Open in Brisbane, Australia.

As a global golf ambassador, Powell’s travels to promote the game spanned a USO Tour to Vietnam during the peak of the war in the 1970s; clinics in Japan, Australia, Morocco, Spain and England; and 25 trips to Africa to educate both heads of state and the general public about the life values of golf. Closer to home, Powell serves on the board of directors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; and is a member of the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame.

Powell’s trailblazing endeavors include being the first woman to be named Head Professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom – in 1979 at Silvermere, an hour southwest of London. She also was the first woman in the U.K. to compete with men in a professional event from the same set of tees.

Following her professional playing career, Powell returned to Clearview Golf Club, where she blended golf instruction and community service. Among her multiple outreach initiatives was founding the Renee Powell Youth Golf Cadre program in 1995, to benefit middle school and high school students in Cleveland. That became the pilot program for the PGA initiative to reach inner-city youth, which eventually became the Urban Youth Golf Program in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 2003, Powell was named the PGA First Lady of Golf for significant contributions to the promotion of the game of golf. In 2008, she was bestowed with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Andrews University in Scotland, the first woman golfer so honored in the 600-year history of the renowned Scottish institution.

The daughter of a World War II Veteran, Powell continued her family’s support of American military heroes by founding Clearview HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) in 2011. Today, serving 60 female Veterans from throughout Northern Ohio, Clearview HOPE is the country’s only year-round women’s military rehabilitative golf program.

Click for more on the PGA Induction Class of 2017>>>

Back to news