Historic Golf Tournament Begins In Canton

By SIAC Media Relations
Updated: October 17, 2008

CANTON, Ohio — The inaugural “Leave A Legacy” Golf Invitational got underway Friday with Benedict College, Kentucky State University and Paine College teeing off at the Historic Clearview Golf Course in East Canton.

The only golf course that was designed, built and owned by African Americans. Benedict College jumped out to an early lead after Robert “Calvin” Mason shot a 75. Benedict as a team finished the day with a 352.

The day started out cold and windy with the temperature at tee off was slightly over 56 degrees. In the first group, Galen Aldrich of Benedict surged out to a commanding lead on the front line as he was just three over par after the front nine holes of play.

But the course got the better of him on the back nine and he double boogied to end the day with a respectable 80. Kentucky State’s Jared Perkins had the best score of his team with an 84 and Brad Freeman led Paine with a score of 87.

Founder and designer of the course, Dr. William “Bill” Powell watched the players action and told stories of how the course became a reality. As he watched in amazement of what he would call “the young people playing with passion”, the players, coaches, and SIAC staff were in awe to be in the presence of a living legend, an innovator, and humble man.

Now 92 years old, Powell is a World War II veteran that returned home to Canton, OH and was rejected from playing on golf courses because of his race. In 1946, after taking over a dairy farm and starting his family, Dr. Powell cleared the land and began planting trees and laying out the course and completed the front nine holes in 1947.

Clearview Golf Course, now a national historic site, officially opened its doors in 1948. In 1978 the course expanded to 18 holes and now the rest in history. His daughter Renee Powell, one of three black women to ever play in the LPGA Tour, now runs the course with her father who still lives in on the course in his house which is part of the club house.

The Leave A Legacy Golf Invitational is a partnership between the SIAC and Clearview Legacy Golf Foundation and is designed to give recognition and build awareness of the game of golf to the minority community.

This year’s event is sponsored by Clearview Legacy Foundation, J.P. Watts Company and John Deere.

NOTE: For more information on Clearview Golf Course please visit www.clearview-gc.com. Also, for the complete score and updated information including a photo gallery of Friday’s action please visit www.thesiac.com