PGA/LPGA Professional Renee Powell, the head professional at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, became the second member of her family to be inducted into the Stark County Amateur Golf Hall of Fame. The ceremony was conducted Sept. 11, at the Skyland Pines Rustic Lodge in Canton, Ohio.
Northern Ohio PGA Executive Director Dominic Antenucci gave the induction address for Powell, the 2003 PGA First Lady of Golf and the first African-American female member of The PGA of America. Powell, 67, was preceded into the Hall by her late father, William Powell, the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer, who was posthumously honored in 2010.
"Renee Powell's record as a player from amateur to professional, along with her giving back to her community made her a most deserving member of the Stark County Amateur Golf Hall of Fame," said Hall Committee member Ralph Santangelo. "Renee has always developed new programs to grow the game and that includes a program [Clearview HOPE], which benefits women veterans."
Introduced to golf and coached by her father, Powell began playing golf at age 3. She entered her first amateur tournament at age 12 and won her division. Three years later, she had captured 30 youth tournament trophies. Powell graduated from Central Catholic High School in Canton in 1964 and attended Ohio University and Ohio State University, serving as captain of the women's golf team at each institution. She made her professional debut on the LPGA Tour in 1967, and her first tournament was the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the United States Golf Association. She competed in 250 professional golf tournaments and won the 1973 Kelly Springfield Open in Brisbane, Australia, posting a final-round 67 to set a course record.
During the 1970's, Powell was part of the USO Tour to Vietnam. In 1979, Powell made history by becoming the first woman to be named Head Professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom.
In 1980, Powell finished her Tour career and taught golf in Africa and Europe and later returned home to Canton where she currently serves as the head professional golfer at Clearview Golf Club. In 2001, Clearview Golf Club was named to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
In 2007, Renee received the first Rolex "For the Love of the Game" Award. Selected by Golf Digest as one of the top 50 women professional golf instructors, she has served as development and programming consultant for The First Tee and in 2000 began the LPGA Girls Golf Club in East Canton. In 2011, Powell founded Clearview HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), which is the sole year-round women's military rehabilitative golf program in the country. The chapter currently serves more than 50 female veterans from throughout Northern Ohio.
The Stark County Amateur Golf Hall of Fame 2013 class also included Dan Belden Jr., a former Georgetown University golf captain and competitor in the 1987 U.S. Amateur, 1991 British Amateur and the 1995 U.S. Senior Open; the late PGA Professional Howard Black, and former officer and a contributor to the Stark County Amateur Golf Association; the late Dr. Mark Moots, who finished runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the 1958 Ohio State Amateur and after retiring from his internal medicine practice, traveled at age 86 to the slums of Kingston, Jamaica to perform medical missionary work. Rounding out the 2013 Hall of Fame class were Gregg Schorsten and Ken Youngman. Schorsten co-founded with his family a junior tournament which raises scholarship funds for male and female golfers and who guided the founding of The First Tee of Canton. Youngman a highly successful former prep coach and member of the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Hall of Fame, also serves as a longtime prep and collegiate tournament manager and rules official.