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Golf clubs celebrate shared history

Golfers from Bermuda and the United States assembled in Ohio this month to celebrate the unique shared history of their two clubs.

A 12-strong team from Ocean View Golf Club travelled to Clearview Golf Course in Ohio for a two day tournament between August 20 and 21.

The event was organised by LPGA golfer Renee Powell and President of the Ocean View Golf Club, Cheryl-Lynne Thompson, to recognise the parallel histories of the two clubs.

“Both clubs were founded in the early 1940's during a time of deep segregation which created many challenges that were overcome,” Ms Thompson said.

“It was a time of hostility when civil rights tensions were rising and coming to a head. Discrimination and violence was spread to all facets of life including sports.

“2016 marked the 70th anniversary of the Clearview golf course and was very fitting that Bermuda would have a group travel to the course to commemorate the occasion.”

Clearview Golf Course was founded in 1946 by Ms Powell's father Dr William Powell and is the only golf course in the United States designed, built, owned and managed by an African American.

The first nine holes opened in 1948 were built on an old dairy farm.

Meanwhile, Erskine Simons, Bill Pitt Sr, and George Lowe overcame significant adversity and challenges to open Ocean View Golf Club as a course for everyone to play on.

Ocean View was called a cow pasture and members would work the course with their hand tools and very limited funds and resources.

Both courses were established after the Second World War and the motto of both was to have a golf course where “all people” could play.

The Ocean View team consisting of Larry Brangman, Kenneth Ford, Kavon Trott, Fred Stovell, Glen Baisden, David Patterson, Bill Pitt, Frank Morgan, Patricia Morgan, Veronica Hines, Louise Payne and Ann Symonds won the two-day competition.

Ms Thompson added: “A welcoming reception and dinner were held the night before the competition at the Embassy Suites. A brief history and introductory meet and greet took place.

“On the final day of the competition, a barbeque and prize presentation took place at the Clearview golf course. Every participant received a medal and a memorable plaque was given for the Ocean View team to bring home.

“The entire event was nothing short of impressive and unforgettable with acquaintances being made, friendships being established and bonding being recognized.”

The Clearview team will travel to Bermuda in 2017 to take on the Ocean View golfers again.

All welcome: Ocean View Golf Course (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 29, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 29, 2016 at 5:11 am)

Golf clubs celebrate shared history

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