GCSAA launches Larry Powell Scholarship

Award focuses on underserved students planning a career in golf course management.


Larry Powell

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has announced the creation of the Larry Powell Scholarship, which is administered by the GCSAA Foundation and will recognize students in underserved populations seeking a career in golf course and turfgrass management.

The scholarship was formally announced by GCSAA  CEO Rhett Evans on Aug. 29 during a presentation at the African American Golf Expo and Forum in Charlotte, N.C. The Larry Powell Scholarship is named in honor of Larry Powell, a 48-year GCSAA member and golf course superintendent at Clearview Golf Course in Canton, Ohio. Powell’s father, Bill Powell, was an entrepreneur and pioneering golf course owner who opened Clearview Golf Club in Canton in 1948. The integrated course was the first and only course to be designed, constructed and owned by an African American. Bill was a member of GCSAA for 37 years prior to his death in 2009. Bill and Larry were the first African American father-son members in GCSAA history. The Powell Family, which includes Larry’s sister, Renee, who was the second African American player in LPGA history, was awarded GCSAA’s Old Tom Morris Award in 2019.

“Larry Powell has served and advanced his family’s legacy at Clearview Golf Club as superintendent for over 40 years,” Evans said. “He is a humble leader who has shaped and impacted the lives of many. Larry serves as a beacon of hope for young minorities seeking to establish a meaningful and rewarding career. We want to help create pathways and provide financial support to others who desire to establish a meaningful career in our industry.”

The scholarship will focus on underserved populations who are GCSAA members or interested in becoming members. Scholarship preference will be given to needs-based applicants with consideration for leadership skills and community engagement.

The lead gift to establish the Larry Powell Scholarship Fund came from GCSAA Immediate Past President Mark F. Jordan, CGCS, natural resources leader at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio, who first met Larry Powell more than 20 years ago. Additional early support came from the Westfield Insurance Foundation and GCSAA Past President John R. Fulling Jr., CGCS, superintendent at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Country Club.

“Larry struck me as an unsung hero, never seeking attention or the limelight,” Jordan said. “I have since learned this to be true in all aspects of Larry’s life. He deserves to be honored for the work he has done at Clearview Golf Club, upholding an important African American family legacy and serving as a role model for underserved communities.”

GCSAA aims to award the first Larry Powell Scholarship in 2023. If you are interested in learning more about the Larry Powell Scholarship Fund, contact the GCSAA Foundation Executive Director Ryan Flickinger at 800-472-7878 or rflickinger@gcsaa.org.