Twice as Good: The Story of William Powell and Clearview, the Only Golf Course Designed, Built, and Owned by an African American

Cover: Twice as Good: The Story of William Powell and Clearview, the Only Golf Course Designed, Built, and Owned by an African American

To nine-year-old Willie Powell, there was no prettier sight than the smooth grass lawns of Edgewater Golf Cource. He had been so eager to see them that he'd run seven miles to where the course was situated outside of town. But his elation didn't last. When he asked two golfers if they'd teach him the game, one man responded by saying, 'Son, didn't anyone ever tell you that your kind is not welcome here?' In the 1920's there was no place for Willie, or any black person, on a golf cource. It was a game for white people only, at least in America. But his enthusiasm for golf and his belief in what he knew to be right drove Willie Powell to change that, and to change minds.



  • Dewey: 796.352092 B
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585364664): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2012, 01/15/2012
  • PDF (9781627532020): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
  • Hosted ebook (9781627535267): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
  • ATOS Reading Level: 4.8
  • ATOS Interest Level: LG
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 149504
  • Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5

BISAC Subjects


  • Gelett Burgess Award Arts & Letters General Category for Heroes, Winner, 2012
  • National Parenting Publication Award--Gold in the Book Category, Winner, 2012
  • Parent's Choice Foundation Recommended Book, Commended, 2012
  • USA Best Book Awards--Hardcover Non-Fiction Category Finalist, Runner-up, 2012
  • 2012 USA Best Book Award Finalist - Children's Picture Book - Hardcover Non-Fiction, Short-listed, 2012


A Review of "Twice as Good" in School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–For third-grader Willie Powell, the new golf course was a beautiful sight. One day, he approached two white golfers and asked the kinder looking of the men to teach him to play. His reply was, “Son, didn’t anyone ever tell you that your kind is not welcome here?” “Of course, Willie knew he was different. He was the only Negro in his class.” Awhile later he returned to the course and ran into one of the men he’d met earlier. This time he agreed to let Willie carry his clubs. The youngster remembered the words of his principal, “If you are going to get ahead in this world, Willie, you can’t be as good as the white children; you have to be twice as good.” As he caddied and earned a little money, he also studied the game. Later, while in the army, he was stationed in England where “no one seemed to think golf was a game for whites only.” Three years later, he returned to the United States and noticed that his daughter had “the grip of a champion golfer,” and he was determined that one day there would be a course where she could play. In 1948, he opened the Clearview Golf Club in Ohio. Velasquez’s large illustrations, often full spreads, capture the sense of time in soft, pastel shades of green, blue, brown, yellow, and pink. An inspirational story, suitable for Black History Month and for children interested in the game of golf.

A Review of "Twice as Good" in Golf Digest

William (Bill) Powell’s story is an inspiring one, to be sure: The grandson of slaves who was raised in Minerva, Ohio, and found it difficult to pursue his love of golf because of discrimination. It prompted him to build his own golf course, Clearview Golf Club, which opened in 1948 in East Canton, Ohio, the only course designed, built, owned and operated by an African-American.

Now his story is told in a children’s book, “Twice as Good,” written by an award-winning children’s book author Richard Michelson and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. The title is derived from a lesson taught him in childhood, that “if you are going to get ahead in this world, you can’t be as good as the white children, you have to be twice as good.”

A Review of "Twice as Good" in Kirkus Reviews

Despite growing up in a community that was racially segregated, William Powell persisted in playing the game he loved, golf.

Young Willie could only caddy on the golf course near his Ohio home, although one white man did let him play. Returning home after World War II from England, where he golfed as much as possible, William was barred from the local greens, denied membership in the whites-only (until 1961) PGA and turned down for financing from the GI loan program. Nonetheless, he found a piece of land where, with private financing, he designed and built the first integrated golf course in the United States. Clearview opened in 1948 and is now a National Historic Site. When his daughter was born, he designed a golf club just for her. Michelson, the author of As Good As Anybody (illustrated by Raul Colón, 2008), has written a straight-forward narrative spiced throughout with inspirational thoughts. At one point, Willie’s principal tells him that in order to succeed he must be “twice as good” as the white children. Velasquez, the award-winning illustrator, paints his figures in linear poses that are unfortunately more static than active.

A useful title in which young readers can gain an appreciation of a ground-breaking African-American sports figure. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 3-7)


Author: Richard Michelson

Richard Michelson is a prize-winning poet and children's book author. His numerous books for children have received a New Yorker Best Book Award, a Children's Book Committee Book of the Year and a Jewish Book Council Book of the Month. In addition to being an author, Mr. Michelson is a popular guest speaker. Within the past year he has lectured, and read from his works in India, Eastern Europe, and throughout the United States. Michelson has written for the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Nextbook and other publications. He is the Curator of Exhibitions at The National Yiddish Book Center and owns R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Illustrator: Eric Velasquez

Illustrator Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem. His dual heritage coupled with the experience of living in dual cultures in New York City gives Eric a rich and unique cultural perspective.

His first picture book, The Piano Man, earned him the 1999 Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe award for new talent. Eric also illustrated The Sound that Jazz Makes by Carole Boston Weatherford, winner of the CBC-NCSS Carter G. Woodson award in the field of social studies. Eric also illustrated Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali.