Founded by Helen Webb-Harris in 1937 the Wake-Robin Golf Club is the Oldest African-American operated golf club in the United States. Currently, they’re 50 members ranging from 45-93 years of age. Wake-Robin targets female golfers who aren’t solely interested in becoming professionals but truly enjoy the sport. Wake-Robin breathes the core values of integrity, fun, sportsmanship, friendship and honesty to their members, thus preparing them to be successful in the sport.
This year Wake Robin celebrates their 80th anniversary with their annual golf tournament on Monday, June 5 at the Woodmore Country Club in Mitchellville, Md beginning at 9 A.M. Along with the tournament, female students will be honored with the Helen-Webb Scholarship Award. Funds will be raised at the tournament to benefit young women who are interested in golf, propelling them to join Wake-Robin once their educational endeavors conclude.
Golf is traditionally not a sport that holds weight in the African-American community especially with women. The purpose of Wake-Robin is to eliminate the mantra of the stereotypical golfer and encourage African-American women to know that golf is not a closed sport. When speaking with Velina Sutton, a seven-year member of Wake-Robin, she professed that Wake-Robin filled the missing pieces of her life. “Golf gave me the opportunity to meet women with like goals in the same age group. In doing so, more opportunities arose especially in community service and the scholarships.”
“I had no real intention of playing golf but I just wanted to learn the game, it was more difficult than I expected and I embraced the challenge,” Sutton said. “By experiencing the stress that golf creates for the mind and body, the fellowship that’s involved with Wake-Robin creates an atmosphere that oozes with perseverance,” she continued. When asked about the lasting impact she wants Wake-Robin to have on the community, Sutton stressed unity amongst women and the sport of golf. “We strive to make a difference in the community through service and scholarship, we’re not just women who play golf,” Sutton explained. “We work with women who are in their 90s who’ve been in the group for 50 plus years and acquire their wisdom to spread throughout the community. By learning about the progression of African-American women in golf, we appreciate the treasures we have now.”