Powell was the second African American to compete on the LPGA Tour, and the first African American woman to become a member of the PGA. In 2022, Powell was honored by the World Golf Hall of Fame as the first recipient of the Charlie Sifford Award. Powell played in more than 250 tournaments from 1967-1980. In 2003, she was honored with the First Lady of Golf Award from the LPGA.
Born in East Canton, Powell attended Central Catholic High School. Renee’s father, Bill, encountered racial discrimination on the golf course after he had served in World War II. That prompted him to design and build a course where all are welcome. Clearview Golf Club in East Canton—the first course in the country designed, built, and owned by an African American—opened its first nine holes in 1948, the second nine in 1978. Renee would eventually work as Clearview’s Head Professional.
“Renee Powell and her family’s remarkable life-long commitment to changing the face of golf cannot be overstated,” LPGA Commissioner, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, said in an LPGA press release. “Renee is a global ambassador and trailblazer within the game and has provided a model for how to use golf as a means of inclusion.”