United Black Golfer’s Association Honored with Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award

(As published in the African American Golfer's Digest, February 2019) Vernell Bennet (center) stands with his award while surrounded by friends, golf club members and lodge members during the luncheon at Riccardo’s By The Bridge, Queens, NY.  (photo courtesy V. Bennett) Vernel Bennett, president, and co-founder of the United Black Golfers Association accepted the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award on Saturday, February 16, 2019, from the Fellow Craft Club of Fidelity Lodge number 97 F&AM during its “Past, Present and Future” annual recognition luncheon in New York. Bennet was the recipient of in the “Present” category and said, “It’s great to receive this award and to be recognized—especially when it comes from your own people—it feels very special.” Surrounded by friends and UBGA club members, the award was presented to Bennet at Riccardo’s By The Bridge restaurant in Astoria, Queens (NY).  The presentation marked yet another salutation to UBGA acknowledging the many works of excellence provided by the not-for-profit golf association to the community.  2019 marks the UBGA was incorporated on March 3, 2014, as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation by Bennett (President) and Jacques Leander, Esq. (Vice President).  Their mission and goals for the association is to promote unity, growth, opportunity and enrichment through the game of golf.  The association’s membership consists of both men and women of all skill levels.   UBGA is active in its community with events and hosts an Annual Scholarship Golf Classic fundraiser event. Through these events, UBGA has awarded $13,000 to 22 students to assist them with their college or trade school education.  These scholarships are awarded to any High School senior in the City of New York.  To learn more about UBGA visit UBGA.org The Fidelity Lodge No. 97 is 60-years old and their annual luncheon recognizes leaders of the past, present and future.  The Fidelity Lodge No 97 is led by Worshipful Master Kenneth Powell and located at 454 West 155th Street, New York, NY 10032 and can be reached at (917) 952-8697.

African American Golfer’s Digest Features UBGA Play at Marlton Golf Course

It was an excellent start for the United Black Golfers Association when they loaded up their vehicles on May 5, 2017 and prepared for a five-hour road trip from Queens and Long Island, NY to Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Their purpose: To experience and support play at the Marlton Golf Club.  Owned, operated and managed by five African American co-owners, their company, HWV Enterprises, LLC, secured the deal on April 10, 2015 bringing to fruition the Marlton Golf Club. Marlton is a jewel of a course.   Located at 9413 Midland Turn, Upper Marlboro, MD, the Par 71- course has a rating of 69.8 and 123 slope.   It is distinguished for being the first public course in Prince George’s County.   Logistically, the course is in a terrific location at just 20-minutes outside of Washington, DC, and 45-minutes from Baltimore. 12 UBGA members made the highly anticipated trip.  11 were from the New York area and one member flew in from Missouri for the golfing adventure. Read the entire article HERE.

African American Golfer’s Digest: “Golfer Of The Week”

African American Golfer's Digest Profiles UBGA's Vice President, Jacques Leandre as Golfer of the Week September 19, 2015   Jacques Leandre, On Course in Serving Up Justice At 6’1”and a lean 190 pounds, Jacques Leandre could compete in just about any sport he chooses.  But the Au-Cap, Haitian born lawyer fancies an attraction to golf. The Queens, New York resident credits his older brother for introducing him to the game.  It all began when his brother would take him along to a summer job that he worked at high school for a local golf course.  The pair would spend time together swinging, hitting balls, and playing around. Today, Leandre carries a 23 handicap and relishes every moment that he can get out on the green.  As a member and Co-Founder of the United Black Golfers Association, Inc. (UBGA). Leandre attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he earned a B.A. in finance before completing law school at the City University of New York Law School at Queens College.   As Principal of his firm, Law Offices of Jacques M. Leandre, PLLC, located on Broadway in Manhattan and specializing in civil rights and community empowerment law, he is known as “The Community Attorney”.   When he’s not in the office you can find him spending quality time with his wife of 17 years, Chrissy, and their two children, Asia and Jacques III.  Golf is important to him but not more than family. Evening meal time brings about a daily opportunity to bond and to catch-up on what’s been happening for the Leandre clan, especially when his favorite dishes of red snapper and navy bean soup are being served. To keep a decent handicap you have to practice.   Although work takes it’s toll, Leandre tries to play at least four times a month, and, usually with his best golf buddy Vernel Bennett, UBGA President/Founder.  Their favorite spot?  The Douglaston Golf Course in Queens. In his specialized career, Leandre is always seeking “justice” and out on the course is no different, where—in this sport, each player is the judge and jury of their own game. “It is extremely relaxing and always challenging,” say the well postured and clean-shaven Leandre about his enjoyment of golf.  But he is also a fierce competitor and plays in several tournaments annually.   For this, he credits the invaluable lessons of having a professional golf instructor who can help you with,  “…playing a consistent game in various weather conditions.” Leandre especially enjoys playing with the “old-timers” and listening to the “war stories”.  A most admired golfer for Leandre?  Well, that woud be none other than the late Calvin Peete. “The man was self-taught….Amazing,” says Leandre.  “May he rest in peace.” Other than being involved in golf, Leandre participates with coaching little league football for the Rosedale Jets Football Association and conducting legal workshops for at-risk youth.


by Vincent Ferguson "Vernel Bennett, President of the United Black Golfers Association, shares how he went from being a retired NYC Department of Finance Corporate (Supervisor) Tax Auditor and Investment Broker to becoming the President and co-founder of the United Black Golfers Association.   Hear how he made the transition and why golf is now his focus during a podcast interview with Vincent Ferguson, a certified personal trainer, speaker and author." Listen to the interview. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/six-weeks-to-fitness/id919035484


African American Golfer’s Digest and the United Black Golfers Association Partner to Bring Vital News & Information to UBGA Members. August 28, 2014—NEW YORK (NY) — The United Black Golfers Association, Inc. (UBGA) a 501(c)3 social organization based in Laurelton (Queens), New York and the African American Golfer’s Digest, the nation’s leading publication and online portal for Black American golfers have aligned their resources in a partnership that will provide news and information for UBGA member all year long.   The UBGA officially incorporated in March 2014 and launched for the purpose of forming an association to provide opportunities for golfers and individuals (men and women) who are interested in the game of golf to meet and engage in activities that promote unity, personal growth and enrichment through the sport of golf.   “I am excited about this unified front with the United Black Golfers Association and our national publication,” said Debert Cook, publisher of the 11-year old print magazine that is a PGA of America Diverse Supplier and serving 80,000 readers with each issue.  “Together we can spread the good news and growth of people of color across the nation and across the world.”   Lead by President Vernel Bennett, a native New Yorker, the UBGA has rapidly attracted the attention of local, and international golfers, of African descent who have expressed an interested becoming active participants.  Bennett attended NYC Community College and The Bernard M. Baruch College earning an AAS in Accounting and a BBA in Management, respectively.  He is a licensed Certified Financial Planner (Adelphi University) with over 20 years of private practice and a licensed Investment Broker. “UBGA will be used as a conduit through which members will have an opportunity to show their good will and support through fundraising endeavors. Proceeds raised will be used to benefit students in their pursuit of higher education and support other not-for-profit organizations, charities and groups engaged in activities geared towards the betterment of the health and welfare of our community as determined by UBGA, ” says Bennett.   From 1975 until his retirement in 2011, Bennett worked in the government sector, ending his career as a Supervising Sales Tax Auditor for the NYC Department of Finance. He is married and lives with his wife Delores in Laurelton, NY.  He has two sons and two grandchildren. Bennett has golfed for the past seven years with an average score of 92-96   UBGA Officers include Jacques Léandre (Vice President), Handel J. Edwards (Treasurer), Julet Barton (Secretary), Corbett Garrett (Sergeant-At-Arms). For additional information visit: www.UnitedBlackGolfers.org   Like them on FACEBOOK and Twitter. For additional information on the African American Golfer’s Digest visit www.AfricanAmericanGolfersDigest.com