“Nova Scotia golf tournament invites Black people to find their place on the tee box”

Published: August 23, 2020

Golfers at the inaugural Black Lives Matter golf tournament at Grandview Golf & Country Club in East Preston, N.S. (Submitted by Duan Ash)

Despite Tiger Woods’s years of dominance, golf remains a predominantly white sport — but two Black Nova Scotia men are doing their part to put more Black people on the tee box.

Duan Ash and Channing Colley organized the Black Lives Matter golf tournament held Saturday at the Grandview Golf & Country Club in East Preston, a Black community that’s been an important seat of African Nova Scotian culture since the 1800s.

“To have this tournament at Grandview just … it makes sense,” Ash told CBC’s Mainstreet.

Ash said his father introduced him to golf when he was young but he didn’t immediately take to the sport.

“I was more focused on other sports such as basketball and hockey.”

But in adulthood, golf sparked a new interest for Ash. This June, he was supposed to be starting the first job of his legal career — he recently graduated from law school — but it was postponed to September because of COVID-19.

Equipped with second-hand clubs, he said he’s been on the golf course instead.

“I’ve had quite a bit of time on my hands to, you know, get the rounds in.”

Ash said he loves the social component of the game, and he said he’s met many people he wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Ash said he and Colley had the goal of creating similar opportunities for other Black Nova Scotians with the tournament.

Colley also came to appreciate the sport slowly. He said he was introduced by his father-in-law about three years ago.

“At first, I was like, ‘Oh man, this isn’t for me.’ You know — outside, the bugs and all that.”

But he gave it a chance and found some of the same merits as Ash.

“Being able to build relationships from it, and just being outside and you’re enjoying nature … I just love it now,” Colley said, also in an interview with CBC’s Mainstreet.

The tournament had room for 12 pairs who were joined by an experienced golfer and someone new to the sport.

Ash said he hopes to make the tournament an annual event and a fundraiser to keep golf mentorship in the Black community going.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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