Celebs Pay Homage to African American Golf Pioneers, Expose Kids of Color to Golf
The 19thAnnual Original Tee Golf Classic presented by BMW of North America, LLC held on Sunday, July 22nd at The Wild Turkey Golf Club in Hamburg, New Jersey, was a huge success. Over 200 friends and supporters of the tournament enjoyed a full day of activities, including a competition of African American professional players competing for a $20K purse supported by the likes of Anthony Spikes of Sapphire Hill Global, David Jones of Castle Oak Securities and Jeff Champ (father of Cameron Champ who recently made it to the PGA Tour).
Celebrity competitors included Actors Malik Yoba and Hisham Tawfiq, Record Executive Kevin Liles, NBA head of Diversity & Inclusion Oris Stuart, NBA President Danny Meiseles, NY Knicks Herb Williams and John Starks, Carl Banks (former NY Giant) Publishers Len Burnett andJeff Mazzacano, Golf Pros Troy Mullins, Wyatt Worthington II, Kevin Hall, Christian Heavens, Louis Kelly, Miko Page, Earl Cooper (PGA), Anthony Stepney (PGA) and Randy Taylor (PGA). The winner of the professional tournament on the par 71 Wild Turkey course was Wyatt Worthington II with a 3 Day Total of 215. The professional tournament scores were Wyatt Worthington +2 (215), Kevin Hall +6 (219), Christian Heavens +7 (220), and Louis Kelly +10 (223).
The event kicked off Saturday night with a welcome reception where guests got to view two of the latest BMW sports cars, mingle with other guests and enjoy an intense game of Jenga with the 2018 OTGC honoree, Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Anthony Anderson. On Sunday, OTGC corporate sponsor BMW provided test drives for all participants in a full fleet of models including the 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series and the all-new BMW X3. BMW also sponsored the longest drive competition for amateur players and provided a lease on a BMW 5 Series for a hole-in-one.
Created to celebrate both the history and contributions of African Americans in golf, this year’s OTGC presented by BMW of North America also raised funds for The Bridge Golf Foundation in Harlem, which is committed to using the game of golf to improve life outcomes for young men of color in Harlem, New York.
This year OTGC presented by BMW and OTGC founder Wendell J. Haskins honored Anthony Anderson with The True Original Award at OTGC Award’s Dinner held at the conclusion of the tournament. Anderson was honored for his many accomplishments in entertainment, his commitment to his community and for being a great ambassador for the game of golf. “I am honored to stand before OTGC in today’s tournament. I don’t take this award lightly; I take OTGC as my family,” said Anderson. “There is no more special feeling than being recognized by my community; I have learned a lot about myself and learned values, such as honesty and integrity, through the game of golf that I have implored in my life on and off the golf course. This award and OTGC mean so much to me and I am truly humbled by this honor.”
Throughout the tournament, many attendees shared remarks about why OTGC is the most important charitable tournament of the year for them. “There are not enough children of color playing in the sport of golf; there is so much opportunity to shine a light on this amazing game” said Randy Taylor, Teaching Professional at The Bridge Golf Foundation & Learning Center. “This is my second year attending this tournament. This year we brought 30 young men from the Bridge Golf Foundation in Harlem. We bring our students to the tournament to teach them the game of golf, meet relatable role models and expose them to a variety of opportunities that are available through the golf industry. We also teach our students life lessons, as well as business & career skills to prepare them for their futures.”
“OTGC brings camaraderie and fun with one common goal in mind: to expose and nurture diverse participation in the game and business of golf,” said Mallory Crossland, senior producer, PGA of America. “It’s great to see companies come on board to sponsor this amazing tournament, which speaks volumes to who Wendell is as a person, a visionary, an entrepreneur and a businessman who brings together so many influential people in various industries.”
“It’s the responsibility of all us to bring this game of golf to the forefront and the OTGC, under the leadership of Wendell, who does a fantastic job bringing all communities together to understand this great game to help us grow and instill values in our lives” said Kenyatta Ramsey, Senior Director, Tournament Business Affairs – PGA TOUR Champions OTGC 2018 sponsors included BMW of North America, National Basketball Association (NBA), Tanqueray 10, Ciroc, Coca-Cola, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Delta Airlines. (TNJ)