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Golf in America: The Jimmy Garvin Story

 One of the best things golf provides is the sense of hope. Hope that the next swing provides a highlight for a lifetime. Hope that the next hole will provide the next birdie or eagle to share with friends. Hope that the next round will be your best.

Hope is also part of the equation at the Langston Golf Course in Washington, DC.  The course has great history. It was the first place African-Americans could play back in 1938 in the then-segregated District of Columbia. Nearly every great Black golfer of his day has played the course. Lee Elder actually operated Langston for a time.

Jimmy Garvin is the president of Golf Course Specialists, the company that runs all three public golf courses in Washington, including Langston. When he arrived at Langston in 1990, some of the kids in the neighborhood saw the golf course as a place for mischief, not recreation. Golf carts were routinely stolen or vandalized, and golfers were often harassed on the course.

For the past two decades, Garvin sought to change that. His best asset to provide hope to the neighborhood was the golf course itself. The Jimmy Garvin Legacy Foundation began to hold clinics for kids. He also converted part of the clubhouse into a learning center to provide further educational opportunities.

What Garvin discovered was that by reaching out to his neighbors, they began to see the golf course as a place to be cherished. He gave them golf, he gave them education… he gave them hope.

Hope is one of golf’s best gifts.