History

The Wake-Robin Golf Club (WRGC) is a minority women’s golf club founded April 22, 1937, by Helen Webb Harris. It is the oldest registered Afro-American woman’s golf club in the United States. WRGC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that introduces women to the game of golf and provides them with the abilities/skills to participate in amateur competitive golf events.

The first meeting was held at the home of Helen Webb Harris at 79 R Street NW, Washington DC. There were thirteen women in attendance. Mrs. Harris, an educator, was the wife of a prominent Washington physician. The founding members, several of whom were wives of Washington’s all-Black, all-male Royal Golf Club, Inc., were tired of staying home on weekends while their husbands played golf. Named after the purplish Wake-Robin wild flower plentiful in the Mid-Atlantic region, the club blossomed almost from the start though not without a few problems. In 1938, WRGC pushed the process of desegregating the public courses of the District of Columbia by drafting and sending a petition to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. To mollify the petitioners, the Secretary approved the construction of a nine-hole course on the site of an abandoned trash dump. In 1939, Langston Golf Course was built near Spingarn High School in Northeast Washington, DC. It wasn’t pretty, especially when players tried to retrieve balls from under the old tires or rusty tin cans strewn about the property; but, finally Black golfers had a place to call their own. Both WRGC and the Royal Golf Club, Inc., continued to press Secretary Ickes to desegregate the city’s other public facilities. In 1941, he issued an order opening public golf courses to all.

Mission, Core Values and Goals
Our mission is to foster and perpetuate women’s interest in golf and encourage women in Washington, D.C. and vicinity to become golfers. We are the premier force for promoting and advancing women’s interest in golf.

The WRGC believes in and conducts itself according to the values embodied by the game of golf: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Honor, Sportsmanship, Fun and Friendship.

Core Values - Inclusiveness and Diversity ~ Volunteer Service ~ Mentoring and Support for New Golfers ~ Advancement of Golf Skills for all Golfers ~ Making a Difference for Women’s Golf ~ Professionalism in our operations and relationships.

Goals - To provide premier programs for WRGC members in golf education ~ player skill development and organized play ~ To provide timely and valued benefits and services to WRGC members and volunteer leaders ~ To promote the growth of women’s golf ~ To be an advocate for positive change on issues of importance to women golfers ~ To assist in educating, promoting, training, supporting ~ encouraging young golfers to seek golf scholarships and associated programs.

Today, Wake-Robin Golf Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that has contributed to many charitable organizations over its seventy-three plus year history. The activities and functions administered by WRGC allow us to continue the legacy started in 1937 to foster, perpetuate and advance women’s interest in golf. Proceeds from these activities help us to provide scholarships to graduating high school female students who are college bound. Additional proceeds go to local charitable organizations.

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