Golf surged in popularity in 2020 by nearly every metric, as people sought out the socially distanced outdoor activity amid the pandemic, as CNBC reported. And among those numbers were Black golfers seeking out Black-owned golf clubs.
In fact, according to the National Golf Foundation, more than 24.8 million people played golf in the U.S. in 2020, up more than 2% year-over-year and the largest net increase in 17 years. The organization states that the sport also saw the largest percentage increase in beginner golfers and youth golfers since 1997, when Tiger Woods appeared to the world as a major champion at the Masters for the first time.
As activities have resumed, Black-owned golf clubs are thriving. NBA superstar Michael Jordan is among them. “I kind of got into golf mainly from a competitive standpoint. To me, it is the hardest game to play,” Jordan told Curry during their chat on the Golf Channel.
Travel Noire has rounded-up 5 Black-owned golf clubs for golf lovers to include on their bucket list:
1. Clearview Golf Club, Ohio
Clearview Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in the United States to be owned and operated by an African American. The club was started in 1946, with Bill Powell purchasing the land and working on it in his spare time.
Since the course’s opening, Powell has welcomed people of all races to play the course. With the assistance of his family, Powell continued to manage the course into the twenty-first century.
In 2001, the United States Department of the Interior added Clearview Golf Course to the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, the club is owned by Renee Powell, Bill Powell’s daughter.
2. Innisbrook Golf Resort, Florida
Owned by Sheila Johnson, America’s first Black female billionaire, Innisbrook Golf Resort is home to four courses, including the top-rated Copperhead Course, home of the nationally televised PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each March, and a favorite among some of the world’s finest golf professionals.
Designed by architect Lawrence Packard, its four courses feature unique layouts and scenery, and consistently receive great reviews. It was named on Golf Digest’s list of “Top 100 Courses You Can Play,” and “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America.”
3. Martin Downs Golf CLub, Florida
Built in the late 70s, Martin Downs, a PGA Qualifying Course, was acquired by Stanley Campbell in mid- April. As its website states, Martin Downs aims to transform the sport of golf into a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness, regardless of age or ability.
Martin Downs Golf Club is located in Palm City, Florida.
4. Michael Jordan's Grove XXII, Florida
Michael Jordan’s exclusive golf course “The Grove XXIII” has fewer than 80 members.
Opened in 2019, some of the biggest names in and outside of sports have been among the select guests.
These names include Barack Obama and Ken Griffey Jr. Michael Jordan’s Grove XXII is located in Hobe Sound, Florida.
5. Marlton Golf Club, Maryland
Marlton Golf Club was acquired by new owners, HWV Enterprises, LLC, in April 2015.
Marlton Golf Club, also called The Marlton, is an improved re-acquaintance to some and an introduction to others. A par 71 layout course whose owners seek to aspire to exceed customers’ highest expectations.
Marlton Golf Club is located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.