BARTOW – While the winners of the fifth annual Herbert Dixon Celebrity Golf Tournament sure had plenty to celebrate, so did the organizers of the event that took place Jan. 5 at Bartow Golf Club.
The annual golf tournament, sponsored by the Deacons and Stewards Alliance to raise scholarship money for underprivileged children, had — by far — its largest turnout to date, with 128 participants
The event featured several well known athletes, including the man for whom the tournament is named, who played all 18 holes even at age 99.
“We should all just enjoy ourselves and know this is for a good cause,” Dixon said after completing his round. “Today is part of the The Deacons and Stewards’ celebration for our young men and women who don't have the sufficient sum of money to go to college.”
Dixon said to the crowd gathered for the event that he is honored to have the event named for him. Given his professional career — 63 tournament victories spanning the 1950s and the 1960s — the honor is well-deserved. Dixon was elected to the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 and the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 2012.
At nearly a century in age, Dixon still mows his own lawn, as was noted by Bartow Mayor Leo Longworth at the event.
“He still cuts his own lawn,” Longworth said. “And it's not a straight yard, there's a huge hill.”
Other professional athletes present at the tournament included former professional golfers Andy Bean, Jim Dent and Rufus Lewis, as well as former football players Ken Riley, James Harris and Darryl Talley.