Golf Course Management

DEC 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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40 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 Forty-seven years ago, a flood wiped out 12 bridges at Clearview Golf Club. ere was zero chance, however, that it would totally wash away what happened there 70 years ago. A devoted family — courageous and fearless — ensured its longevity. After serving his country in World War II, Bill Powell returned to America, hop - ing the racial climate had changed. Simply by wanting to play golf, he learned it hadn't. African-Americans such as Powell encountered a country still far from color - blind. Powell faced discrimination in many ways. He was prohibited from playing on a golf course because of his color. Rejected for a GI loan meant to help service mem - bers buy a home, Powell turned to his brother, Berry, who took out a second home mortgage, and two African-American doctors, to assist in financing his golf dream. Powell and his wife, Marcella, searched for a piece of land in 1946. When they found a dilapidated dairy farm that suited their eye near the tiny village of East Can - ton, Ohio, something massive emerged. Using his bare hands to do much of the grueling, endless and seemingly impos - sible tasks, Powell opened Clearview Golf Club with nine holes in 1948. Now it comes with a special designation. Clearview, fondly dubbed "America's Course" be - cause Powell wanted a place for anyone to play, was the first and remains the only golf course to be designed, constructed and owned by an African-American. Although Powell was victimized by racism, he never played the race card. "Dad said the only card here is the scorecard," says Powell's son, Larry, a 44-year GCSAA member and Clearview's superintendent since 1971. Larry's sister, Renee Powell, is the club's PGA professional. Bill Powell — an agent of change — was a 37-year GCSAA member when he "I can't emphasize enough that this course would not be here without the help of so many people. At a small operation like this, it was critical for the survival of Clearview. It took a family." — Clearview Golf Club superintendent Larry Powell Above: This spot behind the No. 16 green is where Bill Powell arrived at the name "Clearview" for the golf course he began to build in 1946. From one of the highest points on the course, he had a clear view of the property. Right Top: Clearview GC superintendent Larry Powell, right, chats with longtime crew member Michael Duffie. Powell says it takes everyone on board to make the facility go. "It's a family proposition," he says. Right Bottom: Teresa Cole, assistant super- intendent and horticulturist, has been at Clearview GC since 1988. She also is Larry's fiancée.

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