Ohio Course Owners honor PGA Life Member Powell as Person of the Year

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PGA.com

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Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Dec. 15, 2009

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- PGA Life Member William Powell of East Canton, Ohio, the only African-American to build, own and operate a golf course in the United States, was presented the 2009 Person of the Year Award by the Ohio Golf Course Owners Association.

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Powell, 93, who was named the 2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient last August at the 91st PGA Championship, was presented his latest honor Nov. 16, at the OGCOA Annual Meeting in Newark, Ohio.

Powell built Clearview Golf Club in 1946 after first being turned down for a loan due to the color of his skin. Clearview opened for play in 1948 and is today on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Dr. Powell has by his achievements throughout his lifetime, merited his receiving this award," said OGCOA Executive Director Ken Guenther. "This award is presented to those who had significant impact on the Ohio Golf Course Owners Association and or the golf industry in Ohio."

Powell, his daughter, Renee, the 2003 PGA First Lady of Golf and PGA Head Professional at Clearview, were present for the ceremony.

"I think all awards are special, but when it comes from the state golf course owners, it is truly special," said Renee. "My dad was very touched by the association's award. Most of the golf course owners and association members of my dad's generation have passed on. Now, I represent the second generation, and I join others who believe what he has achieved is pretty significant."