Sigma Gamma Rho Trailblazer Renee Powell Elected First At-Large Director of PGA of America Board of Directors
Sigma Gamma Rho’s very own Renee Powell just made history by being elected the first at-large director of the PGA of America Board of Directors.
“Powell will serve a term through the 2020 PGA Annual Meeting on a board composed of the Association’s president, vice president, secretary, honorary president and 18 directors. The Directors include representatives from each of the PGA’s 14 Districts, two Independent Directors, an at-large Director and a member of the PGA Tour,” the PGA press release states.
Powell, is a member of the PGA Hall of Fame and serves on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. She was the second African-American to compete on the LPGA Tour and in 2015 was one of seven women elected the first female honorary members in the 260-year history of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club.
Both her and her father are PGA Hall of Famers. Renee’s father, Bill Powell, was the first African American to ever design, construct and own a professional golf course in the United States. He designed the Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, the first integrated golf course and the first golf course to cater to African American golfers. Powell currently serves as the PGA Head Professional at Clearview Golf Club.
Renee grew up golfing and started competing in tournaments in the 1950s and has been a trailblazer ever since. In 1967, she became the 2nd Black woman on the LPGA Tour where she competed in over 250 events. She won the Kelly Springfield Open in Australia, as well as tying for 4th at the Lady Errol Classic in 1972.
In 1979, she became the first woman to be named Head Professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom and also the first woman in the U.K. to compete with men in a professional event from the same tees. She became the first woman of color elected to membership in the PGA of America in 1996. In 2015, she was one of seven women chosen as honorary members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland which is known as the “home of golf” and had banned women for 260 years.
“Renee Powell’s selfless contributions to the game of golf have made the Powell name synonymous with inspiring PGA Professionals and the aspiring golfer,” PGA of America President Suzy Whaley stated. “We are excited about the energy and insight that Renee will bring to our Board.”
“I’ve been a PGA Member for 23 years and have witnessed many changes that have moved things forward to make our Association more inclusive. This is a big honor,” said Powell.