The Original Tee Golf Classic is back and better than ever. After a 2-year hiatus the premier celebrity/amateur and professional African American golf experience returns Sunday, July 24, to Crystal Springs Resort and Wild Turkey Golf Club, in Hamburg, NJ. In honor of its 23rd year, OTGC will present NBA hall of famer, philanthropist, and golf enthusiast Alonzo Mourning with its prestigious True Original Award. “Alonzo is a great champion as well as a caring and thoughtful human” states Wendell J. Haskins, Founder of Original Tee. “It’s going to be a pleasure honoring him for his many accomplishments and being a golf enthusiast.”
This year’s sponsors include the NBA, National Retired Basketball Players Association, Nike, PGA Tour, LPGA, Madison Square Garden Sports, Titleist, Club Car, Delta Airlines, Pepsi, Arcis Golf and Crystal Springs Resort. Anticipated tournament attendees include Alonzo Mourning, John Starks, Alex Thomas, Anthony Anderson, Hisham Tawfiq, JR Smith, Rosie Perez, Roland Martin, Jaime Diaz of Golf Channel, and the founders of Eastside Golf.
In celebration of its first in-person post pandemic return, OTGC will introduce an inaugural Ryder Cup style, match play format that will feature two-on-two matches within every foursome to win points for their team to contribute to an overall win. The full field of golfers will be broken into 2 teams – Team Alonzo Mourning and Team John Starks. The basketball legends will face off for an ultimate 18-hole matchup. The thrilling competition will be presided over by USGA official Lisa Lifer and PGA Professional Rashad Wilson. The awards dinner will be hosted by comedian Alex Thomas.
In addition to its star-studded competition, OTGC is proud to continue its OTGC Fresh Classic supported by Nike, PGA Tour, LPGA, Pepsi & Frito Lay. Open to boys and girls ages 4 to 15, the youth experience will offer 27 junior golfers an opportunity to have fun, develop skills, compete, and win prizes. The youth experience will be led by PGA Professional Gavin Parker who was named Best Young Teacher in America by Golf Digest. The top prize will be a custom Club Car Onward golf cart that a lucky winner will receive. “The OTGC has established a legacy for Black culture in golf,” says Robin Herrington from Nike. “I’m excited to be able to provide community support from Nike in support of such an outstanding initiative that has a long track record of supporting young, Black kids that want to play golf.”
The tournament will also feature a competition of elite, professional golfers competing for a purse. The competitors are Louis Kelly of New Jersey, Lakareber Abe from University of Alabama, Olajuwon Ajanaku, graduate of Morehouse and founder of Eastside Golf and Sadena Parks of the LPGA.
Original Tee is a culture club that amplifies inclusion in golf by preserving the history of the game’s diverse Black pioneers and celebrating other iconic golf enthusiasts who are ambassadors of excellence. Launched in 2000, by marketing entrepreneur Wendell J. Haskins, the Original Tee Golf Classic reflects the unprecedented convergence of the worlds of golf, business, fashion, and entertainment through a multi-channel approach that excites the masses and welcomes newcomers of all ages to the game.