The First Annual Life Together Stakeholders Open is set to tee off at North Creek Golf Course, 8770 Creek Blvd. in Southaven on Saturday (Sept. 25).
“The Life Together Stakeholders Open is a golf tournament that honors golfers both past and present,” said COGIC Bishop David A. Hall, the tournament’s organizer. “I thought it was important to shine a light on the ‘old timers’ who were denied the right to play professional golf because of race.
“Memphis has men and women of such gifted golfing abilities. Most are past their prime. The tournament will honor them, as well as raise funds to support Life Together social programming.”
Life Together, Inc. is a nonprofit entity that serves the Tri-State area, particularly, Memphis. Children and youth, seniors, the incarcerated and the socially disadvantaged have benefited from Life Together programs for more than a quarter century, said Hall.
The golf tournament is the organization’s newest fundraising initiative. The Final Escape Program for ex-offenders is the primary beneficiary of the nonprofit’s efforts.
With offices located at 588 Vance Ave., the Final Escape Program provides mentoring, employment readiness training and a curriculum-based skills course.
Each of the 18 tee boxes will bear the name of a past or present golfer to be honored.
“Many of them (honored golfers) have passed away,” said Hall. “But we want to keep their memories alive. They were some of Memphis’ greatest amateur golfers, playing during a time when their race restricted them from opportunities available to others. They deserve our lasting gratitude and respect for their contributions to golfing in Memphis.”
The culmination of the tournament will be awarding the Greg Odom Excellence Award for Amateur Golfers. The first recipient will be Memphis golfer Polk McCray.
Odom died on May 1, 2021, said Hall, adding that Odom “did a lot for the game.”
That included coaching youth, conducting charity tournaments, and encouraging anyone attempting to play the game, according to a promo for the tournament.
Two days after Odom’s death, his son, Greg Odom Jr., a collegiate player at Howard University, won the National PGA Collegiate Championship.
Amateur “greats” to be honored are:
- T.O. Fuller
- Dollar Sanders
- O. D. Alexander
- James Walker
- Johnny Scott
- Walter Anderson
- Mason West
- Elton Grandberry
- Randy Perry
- Gregory Odom Sr.
- Jimmie Fields
- Lonnie Williams
- Charles Hudson
- Pleas Jones
- Thurman Glass
- Cornelius Butler, Sr.
- Donald McCray
- Lee Price
- Odell Price
- Dalt Nickleberry
- Rickey Hudson
- Willie Robinson
- Polk McCray
(For more information, including registration and tee time, click here.)