Last month, members of the South Florida Original Tee division held their 2020 Original Tee Golf Classic at Old Palm Golf Club's very own Raymond Floyd-designed championship course. Hosted by Old Palm member, Mr. Lamell McMorris, this group of passionate golfers were not just playing for fun—but also to raise awareness for their admirable organization, Original Tee.
About Original Tee
Original Tee was founded by Mr. Wendell J. Haskins in 1999 to pay homage to African American pioneers in the sport of golf. Haskins was the infamous driving force behind Charlie Sifford, the first African American professional golfer to play on the PGA Tour, receiving the presidential medal of freedom before his death in 2015.
The name "Original Tee" was inspired by Dr. George F. Grant, the African American inventor of the golf tee in 1899. This foundation strives to amplify the historic role of African Americans and people of colors' role in the sport and is dedicated to preserving their legacy.
A core objective of Original Tee is to encourage younger generations to explore the game of golf and expose them to the influence that African Americans and people of color continue to have on it. Each year, Mr. Wendell J. Haskins invites enthusiastic young men, typically identified through local programs, to their annual Golf Classic tournament. These men are able to take advantage of the scholarships and clinics available at the actual tournament. As much as Original Tee’s goal is to reach younger people, it is also to tell the history of African American participation in golf and foster continued participation.
Original Tee's annual Golf Classic would typically be held during July in the New York Area, however, due to COVID-19, members from the South Florida area decided to host the tournament at Old Palm in order to continue the tradition of fellowship. 12 members participated in the 2020 Old Palm tournament, however, there are close to 25 or more in the South Florida area—demonstrating the broad presence this organization enjoys locally.
When asked about his favorite part of Original Tee, Old Palm member Mr. Lamell McMorris stated that it gives him great pride to honor African American and people of color sports and golf legends and to not only see and witness their love of the game first-hand each year at the tournament, but hear testimonies from legends such as Doug Williams, Anthony Anderson, Beverly Jackson, Julius Erving, and the late Charlie Sifford—all previous participants in the annual Golf Classic.
A Member's Perspective on Old Palm Golf Club
Mr. Lamell McMorris chose to host the South Florida Division's Original Tee Golf Classic at Old Palm Golf Club due to his fondness of the club both as a previous resident and current member. When asked about his experience, McMorris stated, "I chose Old Palm Golf Club for the importance of good golf, but also for the fellowship among the members and the life-long friendships and relationships that I was able to establish.” He spoke fondly about the intimate nature offered, which he found was lacking in other golf communities in the area. "Old Palm is a close-knit and friendly community with an incredible staff and the property is extremely well taken care of.”
Even after moving to Miami, Florida, McMorris decided to remain a member of Old Palm due to how the Club makes him feel as a member of the private golf course community. He even went so far as to mention that he once took the "on-campus" community for granted, and now spends even more time at Old Palm than when he was living there.
As a golf enthusiast, McMorris especially appreciates Old Palm's championship golf course. "The Raymond Floyd-designed course has something for everyone, and is just challenging enough where you and your partners are going to have an enjoyable round that makes you appreciate what course management really means.,” said McMorris. “It’s unlike any other golf course in the area and is always in the best shape possible.”
In addition to the architecture and pristine maintenance of the course, he also appreciates the ease of securing a tee-time, mentioning that he has not once been unable to tee off when desired.
Mr. Lamell McMorris is the perfect example of the Life, Well Lived available to residents and members of Old Palm Golf Club. To experience this for yourself, please schedule your private tour today. To learn more about current Old Palm residences available for sale, contact Connie McGinnis with Old Palm Real Estate at 561-493-7220. Connie McGinnis is Old Palm’s #1 Realtor with over 30 years of experience selling luxury properties in South Florida.