For over six decades, the Skyview Golf Tournament has been home to some of golf’s greatest moments in Asheville, North Carolina.
Paving the way for the next generation of golfers.
Our founding members created a vibrant golf culture in Asheville, North Carolina in 1959 and built a golf tournament showcasing some of the game’s best black golfers.
In 1960, the very first Skyview Tournament was an all African American event with 50 participants. The next year integration took place when Dr. Robert McGuffie a local pediatrician and Walt Gossett, both Caucasian, played. This opened the door for all people to participate. Since that first tournament that only had 50 people, the tournament has grown consistently each year.
The largest tournament was in 1975 when 254 golfers participated in the Skyview Pro/Am. Today, Skyview is one of the largest tournaments in the Southeast.
Since the inception of the Skyview Open, golfers have come from Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, Georgia, Hawaii, South Carolina, North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and internationally from Canada and Bermuda to participate in our Annual PRO/AM Tournament.
The annual tournament is hosted at the Asheville Municipal Golf Course, “Muni” as it locally referred to, designed by world famous golf course designer, Donald Ross. Numerous nationally known African American celebrities and golf professionals have participated in the Skyview Open, such as Lee Elder, Jim Dent, Jim and Chuck Thorpe, John Brooks Dendy, Harold Varner III and even World Boxing Champion Joe Louis to name a few.
Each year, golfers from around the country compete on a stage that shares a history unlike any other golf tournament. Over three days and 54 holes, professionals and amateurs compete for a chance to make their mark in Skyview history and continue the Skyview legacy.
The Skyview Golf Association was founded and Incorporated in 1959 as a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization in an effort to promote golf competition among African American golfers throughout the United States. It was also intended as a stepping-stone to get Black golfers eventually ready for the Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour. This was the beginning of the long run in summer golf tournaments that still exists today.
The Skyview Tournament started with our founder, Charles Collette (pictured above on the left) as the Tournament Director. He served in this capacity from 1959 until 1972. At the time of Mr. Collette’s illness and subsequent death, Billy Gardenhight was asked by the members to take his place as Tournament Director. For the past thirty five years, Billy has served in this capacity. During this time, the tournament has grown and is now a legacy throughout the entire country. This is a legacy that started with Charles Collette, Sam Chavis, Raymond Bland, John Dendy, Sam Quick, Tommy Lee Nance, Boyce Layton, and Jesse G. Ray Sr., the incorporators and directors of the Skyview Golf Association, Inc.