Clearview Golf Club, East Canton, OH
Clearview Golf Club, East Canton, OH

East Canton,


United States

Clearview Golf Club

Located two miles from downtown East Canton, Clearview Golf Club is the first and the only golf course designed, built, owned, and operated by an African American. After his return from World War II in 1946, golf enthusiast William J. Powell began construction of his own course because he was denied access to local golf clubs due to his race. With financial support from two African American physicians, Powell acquired a 78-acre dairy farm, which he then manually converted into a nine-hole course of his own design in his spare time. Catering to golfers of any race, he opened Clearview to the public in 1948 and expanded it to eighteen holes in 1978. Although not trained as a golf course architect, Powell’s master plan of Clearview integrated existing pines and oaks on the farmland to lay out the course. Situating the clubhouse at the center of the property, Powell fit eighteen linear fairways into an irregular polygon that is bounded by Lincoln Street and surrounded by farms and forests. Each one of the two sets of nine holes is arranged in a loop that begins and ends at the clubhouse. Turfed with ryegrass, bent grass, and blue grass, the course is gently graded to merge seamlessly with the rural Midwestern landscape. Two streams, one natural and one artificial, provide the only two water hazards on the course. Currently managed by the Clearview Legacy Foundation, Clearview Golf Club was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. 

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