The Tour established the Trainor Award in 1999, in honor of its founder and former president, Eloise Trainor, who retired in 1999. In the spirit of Trainor, who operated the FUTURES Tour for 20 years, the annual Trainor Award is presented to an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to women's golf.
Trainor will travel from Lebanon, N.Y., to present the award to Powell in a ceremony on Sunday that will follow the final round of the Duramed FUTURES Tour's season-opening tournament, the Florida's Natural Charity Classic.
Powell is the second of only three African-American women to play on the LPGA Tour in the Tour's 60 years. She turned professional in 1967, and competed on the LPGA Tour for 13 years. She won the 1973 Kelly Springfield Open in Australia, and was also on four winning teams representing the United States during the 1970s matches between LPGA players and women pros in Japan.
Powell began playing golf at age 3 at the encouragement of her father, the late William Powell, who designed and built Clearview Golf Club in Ohio after segregation laws prevented him from playing on public golf courses. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, the course, now managed by Renee, is the only course in the world designed, built, owned and operated by an African-American. The Powell family was named as the 1992 National Golf Foundation's Jack Nicklaus Golf Family of the Year for their contributions to the world of golf.
Renee won 30 tournaments as a junior and became the first African-American to compete in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship (1962). She also played college golf at Ohio University, and later, at Ohio State University. As a pro, she became the first woman named as a head club professional in the United Kingdom (1979). In addition, Powell became the first African-American Class A member of the PGA of America in 1996, and is the only African-American professional Class A member of both the LPGA and PGA of America.
She serves as an Ohio representative for the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship Committee, and Clearview Golf Club hosts the Canton (Ohio) chapter of the Executive Women's Golf Association. Powell also hosts the Renee Powell Golf Schools for Women at her course and holds golf tournaments to raise funds that provide scholarships to young women pursuing careers in non-traditional fields. Additionally, she teaches golf to inner-city youth and helped develop the curriculum and programming at The First Tee program.
“God gives everybody talents and mine is in this game of golf,” said Powell. “I've played, taught, written articles, designed golf clothes and mowed greens. But if we want the game to continue, it becomes a responsibility to pass things on to others. There are always those people who push and pull you along, and I think it's our responsibility to give back. Hopefully, I can inspire the younger players.”
The ceremony will be held on the 18th green at Lake Region Yacht and Country Club.