United Black Golfers Association play Marlton Golf Course

United Black Golfers Association play Marlton Golf Course

It was an excellent start for the United Black Golfers Association when they loaded up their vehicles on May 5, 2017 and prepared for a five-hour road trip from Queens and Long Island, NY to Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Their purpose: To experience and support play at the Marlton Golf Club.  Owned, operated and managed by five African American co-owners, their company, HWV Enterprises, LLC, secured the deal on April 10, 2015 bringing to fruition the Marlton Golf Club.

Pictured l-r: owners Vann Jones, Willie Blakeney, Henry Turner, Jimmy Garvin

Pictured L-R: Marlton Golf Course Owners Vann Jones, Willie Blakeney, Henry Turner, Jimmy Garvin

Marlton is a jewel of a course.   Located at 9413 Midland Turn, Upper Marlboro, MD, the Par 71- course has a rating of 69.8 and 123 slope.   It is distinguished for being the first public course in Prince George’s County.   Logistically, the course is in a terrific location at just 20-minutes outside of Washington, DC, and 45-minutes from Baltimore.

12 UBGA members made the highly anticipated trip.  11 were from the New York area and one member flew in from Missouri for the golfing adventure.   Two rounds were played on 18-hole the course and everyone had a great time during their 3-day visit, May 5-7 (Friday-Sunday).  Many of the golfers lodged at the Hampton Inn on Crain Highway in  Waldorf, MD while several others overnighted with relatives and friends in the area.


UBGA Marlton Dinner

UBGA Members gather for dinner.

After rounds on Friday night, a delicious meal was enjoyed at the local Golden Corral Restaurant in Waldorf, MD.  The variety of food offerings on the large buffet satisfied appetites of all persuasions.   Following Saturday’s round, all of the UBGA members dined together at the very popular Carrabba’s Italian Grill (Waldorf MD) selecting from a wide range of salads, entrees and desserts–which for this splendidly organized golf trip was like the icing on the cake, or as Italian would say “come il cacio sui maccheroni!”


L-R: Vernel Bennett with James Garvin Jr.

L-R: Vernel Bennett with James Garvin Jr.

As golfers arrived at the course on Friday for their 2:30 p.m. tee time, the owners and staff were excited to welcome them.   “The owners: Willie Blakeney Jr., Vann B. Jones, Jimmy Garvin and Henry C. Turner Jr. purchased the Marlton Golf Club in 2015 and UBGA was established in 2014, so we had a couple of thing in common with both of us being new Black organizations,” said Bennett.

“The golf course was in good condition,” says UBGA President Vernel Bennett who lives in Laurelton (Queens), NY.  “…besides the fact that we got rained on Thursday, temperatures jumped to 90-degrees on Friday is was cloudy and overcast, and it rained all day long on Saturday.”

“While UBGA members were preparing to golf a round on Friday, Jimmy Gavin and I had a discussion about our visions for getting more Black people interested in the game of golf.  This was the main reason why UBGA came to support Marlton; We want to spread the word in New York City, and Missouri, that we have a new Black-owned and operated golf course to play  at.  Like any new startup business or organization the first five years is the barometer for success,” said Bennett.  “So we will just keep on pushing.”




The United Black Golfers Association, Inc. was formed on March 3, 2014, as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit corporation and our name, logo and acronym is registered with the United States of America Patent and Trademark Office. The purpose of the association is to provide opportunities for golfers and individuals (men and women) who are interested in the game of golf, to meet and engage in activities that promote unity, personal growth and enrichment through the sport of golf.

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Garvis Reynard Leak is 2017 "Inventor of the Year," as designated by the African American Golfer's Digest.  The Winston-Salem, North Carolina