Golf organization offers minority representation


Women of Color Golf  is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 in Tampa. After three years of operation, WOCG has exposed over 350 minority women and girls to the fundamentals of golf in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Washington, D.C.

Clemmie C. Perry, founder and executive director of Women of Color Golf, believes that golf can help women accomplish their dreams. Perry states that being in executive positions has allotted her the opportunity to play golf.

The Florida A&M University alumna has gained over 20 years of experience working for two Fortune 500 Companies, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Florida Power & Light Company.

Aside from her professional career, Perry said that she has always had an interest in golf and began playing in 2013. After experiencing a lack of diversity on the golf course, Perry wanted to make a change.  

She is now turning her passion into a national movement to make a difference in the lives of women and girls through the sport.

“I didn’t see any women on the golf course who looked like me,” Perry said. “WOCG is creating pathways for women to enter the game. Golf is about access. Golf is giving Black women access to business relationships they would never have. We can’t get [career advancements or new business clients], if we don’t build new relationships through golf.” 

Likewise, the mentoring program Girls on the Green Tee was designed for girls between the ages 10 -17, responding to the ongoing need for strong, accomplished, and resilient female role-models.

WOCG and GOTGT seeks to encourage women to become interested in golf through lessons, activities, and partnerships with Hillsborough Community College, Continuing Education, Golfer’s Grail and Tampa Sports Authority.

Recently, WOCG and GOTGT received recognition by President Barack Obama as a U.S. White House Champion of Change for Extracurricular Enrichment for Marginalized Girls. They were also the recipient of the 2017 Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero Award.

Perry was inspired by Renee Powell, the second African-American woman to play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour. Powell was one of three African-Americans to play in the LPGA tour to date.

Powell is also the daughter of William Powell, the only African-American to design, build, own and operate a golf course in the United States, Clearview Golf Course.

“My father and I were both inducted into the Northern Ohio Professional Golf Association  as well as the PGA Hall of Fame as the only father, daughter PGA members.” Renee said.

The Golf Diversity & Inclusion Research Report for the World Golf Foundation, led by Dr. Michael Cooper, has provided numerous statistics for minority women in golf. In a study revisited by Cooper in 2015, the National Golf Foundation reported that the total number of golf participants was approximately 24.9 million with 4.9 million minority participants. Approximately 293,000 individuals from this total were African-American females.

Livi Grant, who is a sophomore in FAMU’s School of Business & Industry, serves as a student ambassador for WOCG.

“I was elected to become a WOCG Ambassador, which I found extremely beneficial and fulfilling. I believe to whom much is given, much is expected. I embrace the role of trying to increase the involvement of minorities and women, like myself, in the game and business of golf,” Grant said.

Grant also received the opportunity to intern with the 117th U.S. Open during the summer of 2017.

WOCG continues to make an impact on the lives of African-American women by following the vision created by Perry. Through her dedication she has paved the way for women to potentially build a successful legacy in golf.