OUR STORY - Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
In 1952, the Royal Golf Club purchased property owned and resided by Charles R. Watts to be used as a clubhouse. He was an African-American surgeon and activist for the poor. Watts was the first surgeon of African-American ancestry in North Carolina. Earning his medical degree in 1943 from Howard University College, he was the first African-American board-certified surgeon to serve in North Carolina. After surgical training at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C., in 1949, he moved to Durham, North Carolina and in 1950 established a clinic to provide access to medical services for the poor. Breaking the social customs of racial obstacles, he advocated for certification of African-American medical students.
1965 - the dissolution of the Royal Golf Club's mortgage papers
In the 1920's when the country was establishing Jim Crow, white organizations were routinely excluding blacks from participation in various professional sports, including those in which blacks had been prominent. To counter this, African Americans established alternative institutions and in golf, it was the UGA, the United Golfers Association in 1926. Blacks in Washington, DC were allowed to play at a nine-hole layout in the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the Old Naval Hospital at 24th and Constitution Avenue Northwest. The greens were round about twenty feet in diameter and covered in sand. Even the average player could drive all but three of the holes with irons. This course had been built due to the efforts of its origin group, the Capitol City Golf Club.
After a committee was established in 1933 to draft a constitution which resulted in the formation of the Royal Golf Club with the establishment of by-laws, an emblem and seal designed to distinguish itself as an golf organization. The official colors of the Royal Golf Club are Purple and Gold. In the beginning although the membership started out very small and consisted of quite a number of professional people--doctors, lawyers and notable members of the Washington, DC area. Later however, this make-up changed very drastically when they became better organized and the group began promoting different golfing events. From this point on, the membership grew larger and more diversified until it became the club that represented golfers from every walk of life.
In 1952, The Royal Golf Club purchased the property at 539 23rd Place, Northeast Washington, DC to be used as a clubhouse. The property was once the property and residence of Mr. Charles R. Watts and the mortgage payments on the clubhouse property were terminated in 1965. The Royal's Clubhouse is in desperate need of repairs and renovations to continue its royal stance. Over the course of the years, the Royal Golf Club clubhouse has been the site of numerous meetings, special events and frequent occasions of celebration; but the members are currently conducting their monthly meetings at a member's home. There has been an effort to increase membership and to solicit financial support to help maintain the legacy and sustain the club's history by way of preserving their 70 year old club home in 2022. The members are requesting your support. So please take the time to make a donation.
The Royal Golf Club Membership
The Royal Golf Club is now recognized throughout the United States by its membership and community involvement. The Club has sponsored an annual Amateur Tournament and created golf activities that initially started at the Lincoln Memorial Golf course but there were too many inadequacies that led to a continuous effort to acquire and obtain the present Langston Golf Course.
The Royal Golf Club has become one of the staples of golf not only on a local level but regional and nationally as well. Along with joining the United Golfers Association UGA in the thirties and maintaining that relationship, over the years some of the members have travelled to Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York to play tournaments. A natural Intra-city rivalry developed and as a result the Eastern Golf Club Association was formed. The Royal Golf Club has been the oldest club in participation in the UGA and well-respected and recognized nationally for being a group of golfers, gentlemen and sportsmen.
The Royal Golf Club's membership is currently at thirty-four (membership directory) for the 2021-2022 year.