An aerial of Lincoln Golf and Country Club in 1943.
To counteract segregation, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, the president of Florida’s first black-owned life insurance company, established the nine-hole Lincoln Golf and Country Club for African-Americans in 1926. Located near the intersection of New Kings Road and Richardson Road, for many years it was the social and recreational center for affluent African-American Jaxsons. Initially an exclusive private club, its list of original officers included A.L. Lewis (Treasurer), A.J. Joyner (President), D.D. Powell (Vice President), S.P. Livingston (2nd Vice President), E.D. Ballard (3rd Vice President) and Lawton Pratt (Secretary). In addition to golf, Lincoln was also known for its tennis and cuisine with its two-story, wood-frame clubhouse being a destination for deviled crabs, its glass block bar and as a place for formal dinners and social gatherings.
An aerial of Lincoln Golf and Country Club in 1952.
Hosting tournaments for black women and southern black colleges as early as 1930, it quickly rose to become the pride and showcase of black golf across the south. In 1933, three-time national champion John Brooks Dendy made history with a hole-in-one at the 342-yard, par-four first hole and then three consecutive birdies. His 1-2-3-4, six-under par start was later acknowledged in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Between 1941 and 1949, golf pro Ralph Dawkins, Sr., the first African-American golfer to win a tournament in the state of Florida and grandfather of NFL Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins, served as the club’s formal golf instructor between 1941 and 1949.