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Meet These Thriving Black-Owned Golf Clubs in Florida
In 2022, the number of golfers enjoying the game on grass courses increased for the sixth consecutive year, reaching 25.6 million—a growth of half a million players, according to the National Golf Foundation. Participation in golf courses stood at 27.9 million, surpassing on-course players for the first time. The organization also asserts that ever since Tiger Woods gained widespread attention as a major champion at the Masters in 1997, the sport has seen the most significant rise in new and young players.
The success of African-American-run golf courses is notable, especially in Florida where there are now four Black-owned golf courses. One of these is owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan. These golf courses, operated by Black proprietors, have significantly contributed to enhancing overall participation and creating an inclusive atmosphere for individuals from all walks of life.
Meet these Black-owned golf courses in Florida.
Innisbrook Golf Resort
Sheila Johnson, the first Black female billionaire in America, owns Innisbrook Golf Resort, which boasts four courses. Among these, the highly-regarded Copperhead Course stands out. It hosts the nationally televised PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship every March, attracting elite golf professionals.
Designed by Lawrence Packard, the four courses exhibit distinctive layouts and picturesque landscapes, consistently earning rave reviews. Innisbrook has secured a spot on Golf Digest’s esteemed list of “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” as well as “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America.”
Martin Downs Golf Club
Stanley Campbell purchased Martin Downs, a PGA Qualifying Course, in mid-April, expanding its reach since its late 70s construction. Martin Downs Golf Club endeavors to reshape golf into a way of life that fosters well-being and health, irrespective of age or skill level. Situated in Palm City, Florida, the club has recently taken a dilapidated overgrown course and revamped it.
The Grove XXIII
The Grove XXIII, Michael Jordan’s exclusive private golf course, boasts less than 80 members since its establishment in 2019. Distinguished figures both within and beyond the sports world have been counted among the exclusive invitees. Notable individuals such as Barack Obama and Ken Griffey Jr. have graced the course as guests. Situated in Hobe Sound, Florida, Michael Jordan’s Grove XXIII finds its home.
Fairview Golf Club
Fairview Golf Club (FGC) boasts 30+ years of empowering youth through golf and life lessons. FGC, comprising diverse Palm Beach County African American men and women, focuses on both golf-related activities and community service. Beyond the fairways, FGC awards scholarships to high school seniors and supports families in need during the holidays. With a dynamic membership contributing various golf skills, FGC stands as a community committed to golf and social responsibility, shaping futures on and off the course.