What Is HONOR 61?

Educate. Participate. Celebrate.

Originally founded in 2012 as a social group called The Black Golfers Association. In 2019, the social community experienced a spark in interest and grew to overwhelming numbers by 2021. Collectively, a desire to learn more about the historical influence of African Americans in golf developed. This promoted a conscientious trend to travel and seek out other members to play golf. In this necessity, Honor 61 was born. It is a private membership-based platform dedicated to educating members on the game, promoting more leisure and competitive play, and use those resources gathered to support initiatives to grow the game within the social community, thus growing the great sport of golf in general.

Why HONOR 61?

Honor 61 is short for Honor 1961. We recognize the men and women in their efforts leading up to the removal of the ‘Caucasian Only Clause’ from the bylaws of the Pro Golf Association of America and their resiliency to grow the game into all communities in the aftermath. These Americans fought, won, and paved a way for current generations to be able to play golf today.

Our Team

Kirk H. Russell

Kirk Russell is from Ardmore, Oklahoma and is a Mental Health and Behavioral Therapist by trade. His love for the game of golf, over the years, has earned him a lot of well deserved recognition. As an avid golfer, he began his golf career in 1996, the day after Tiger Woods said “Hello World”. He is the founder of Black Golfers Association Facebook page, which launched on April 10th, 2012. He met Khary Mitchell on the BGA page and credits much of its success in terms of growing the platform and membership base to where it is now. Khary and I are now co-founders and co-owners of the newly named HONOR 61 organization, which is a natural outgrowth from the Black Golfers Association. My reason for creating BGA will be the same goal for HONOR 61, “To incorporate Education, Participation and the Celebration of Black Golfers from our past to our future as we Honor those who paved the way.”

Khary Mitchell

He started playing the game in 2010 after his military career. In 2012, Khary dedicated more time to developing his skill level within the game and began keeping record of every round he played. In a year, with support from two golf groups in Hawaii; DaKine and Par or Better golf clubs, he improved his handicap from a 26 to a 6.

In 2017, Khary enrolled in the Golf Academy of America in San Diego to discover how he can grow the sport. He graduated with honors by mid-2018. In May of 2019, he was invited to join a social media group, then called The Black Golfers Association with 536 members at the time. Khary quickly became the ambassador of the group after being promoted to administrator. He is often accredited with the group’s organic growth to 25k members by spring of 2021.

Fully committed to growing the game of golf, Khary strives to educate the social community on golf’s history, triple the participation level of play in the golf community, and to celebrate all endeavors to grow the sport. He is in high hopes that his efforts will diversify the game’s representation at the professional level and create more opportunities for employment in the golf industry.