ONE IN A MILLION

“But one day, the sun came shining
through, the rain had stopped,
and the skies were blue, and
oh, what a revelation to see,
you’re one in a million, the
chance of a lifetime, and
life showed compassion,”
lyrics from the artist; Larry
Graham written in the early
seventies. His famed hit “One
in A Million.” Clemmie Perry, the
founder of “Women of Color Golf”
is truly and literally one in a million.
I ask Mrs. Perry, “How did you decide
to start such an organization?” She
shared some staggering numbers she
received upon having a conversation
with Dr. Michael Cooper, Chairman of
the Diversity of Inclusion Task Force
for the World Golf Foundation. There
are 24 million Golfers in the US, 4
million are Minorities and less than
1% were Women of Color. That is
why WOCG is one in a million, it is not
just a song, it is a fact.
Armed with data that literally
changed her life forever, she jumped
into action, and founded Women of
Color Golf. However, Clemmie Perry’s
name is synonymous with being the
first. This is a familiar experience for
her as she carries a torch of longburning
flames. Clemmie C. Perry

IMAGE: CLEMMIE PERRY, FOUNDER OF 

WOMEN OF COLOR GOLF

is the daughter of Mrs. Doris Ross
Reddick, the first African American
female to Chair the School Board in
Hillsborough County, she served on
the School Board for three terms.
She is also the granddaughter of
Clemmie Ross James, who was a
pioneer educator and civil rights leader
in Tampa, Florida, who changed the
lives of hundreds of African American
students in the days of segregation.
During the 1940s, in Hillsborough
County, in
order to
receive a
teaching job,
African American
teachers were
required to waive
their Florida
Teacher Retirement
Savings. Mrs. James
sacrificed her
Teacher’s Retirement,
to educate young
Black students in the
Tampa Bay area.
As stated above, being the
first for Clemmie is a familiar
place. She is comfortable being a lone
ranger. Although comfortable, it was
not without sacrifice. Clemmie arrived
on the golf scene late in life, after she
was terminated from a Fortune 500
Corporation, after being employed
there for many years.
During the interview, we learned
that Clemmie’s brother found a pair
of old golf clubs being thrown away.
He gave them to Clemmie. Her other
brother paid for her to take lessons
and upon walking on the golf course,
she began to gain a newfound
confidence and joy in the sport.
After two trips to the White House to
speak with then-President Obama, a trip
to the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews,

Scotland with Golf Legend, Dr. Renee
Powell, the second African American
Woman to play on the LGPA Tour, and
a very robust training scheduled to
begin in two local Elementary Schools,
I would say that she had an inner drive,
determination, and motivation to grow
the game of golf for marginalized girls
and women of color.
Clemmie has received many accolades
for her work in the golf industry, but
none perils to the passion of her newest venture, “Girls on the Tee.”
Girls on the Tee is a program designed
to teach young girls the fundamentals
of golf and to expose them to the
game. However, Clemmie stated, “My
greatest accomplishment was my
93-year-old mother to live and see
me present at a forum with the first
African American President via her
mobile phone.”
Exposing women and girls to golf
is like exposing them to the many
advantages of Entrepreneurship. Both
are available, but if no one exposes
you to it, you cannot take advantage
of what it has to offer. Clemmie Perry
has figured out the way to bridge
both gaps, as we know big business
deals and business relationships are
made on the golf course. Clemmie will also be gearing up for
two major events this year. WOCG
will host their first Women of Color
Golf Inaugural 9-hole Golf Classic,
in partnership with the NFL Alumni
Tampa Bay Chapter, 55th Annual
Superbowl of Golf Tournament, in
Tampa, the week before Super Bowl
LV. This year as well, WOCG will
be one of the Co-Sponsors of the
Inaugural African American Golf Expo
and Forum scheduled for August 21-
24, 2021 in Atlanta, Ga.

Golf is a game of strategy, just as
Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs
must exercise strategic planning and
leverage, while building a successful
business. Speaking of strategic
planning 2020 was a bad year for
many organizations, many changes
took place and millions of people lost
their sense of livelihood making 2020
one of the worst years in history.
But as the year came to an end, behind
the scenes, The Valspar Championship,
which is operated by the not-for-profit
organization, Copperhead Charities, Inc.
We’re planning and strategizing as to
how they would share with Clemmie
that her organization was selected to
be the 2020 PGA Tour Charity of the
Year. As she stood mic’d up, standing
in front of the school that bears her
Grandmother’s name, and speaking
with authority attempting to plead her
case as to why WOCG should be the
2020 Charity of the Year. Ronde’ Barber
appears, “Clemmie, Ronde’ Barber here,
congratulations on being the PGA Golf
TOUR r Charity of the Year, we are very,
very happy for you, Congratulations!”
Clemmie started 2020 with a vision
and she ended it with clarity or shall
I say “Charity of the Year.” Tampa
Pioneer congratulates you as well on
a job well done. For more information
about Women of Color Golf visit
www.womenofcolorgolf.org.