The Howard men’s golf program got a surprise donor in 2019 when two-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry made the commitment to fund the program until 2027-28.
In April of 2021, Curry, a passionate golfer, made the pledge to get the Bison back to D-I golf for the first time since the 1970s.
Howard is now one of just 25 HBCUs to field a golf team.
Golf is a sport where, as of 2020, only 2 percent of its players were Black. The Bison’s first season back on the greens in nearly 50 years was fruitful. The program won the MEAC conference championship.
Three years ago, @StephenCurry30 rebooted Howard University's men's and women's golf programs.
This week, Howard University alum Gregory Odom Jr. will make his TOUR debut. pic.twitter.com/UIUB7WHUXE
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 4, 2022
For Bison’s star golfer Gregory Odom Jr., it’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks. From dominating the competition and winning the MEAC title, to playing in his first PGA Tour event this past week in the Wells Fargo Championship at the TPC Potomac in Potomac, Maryland, as an amateur on a sponsor’s exemption. And although Odom missed the cut of even par for Mother’s Day weekend after rounds of 77-75 over Thursday and Friday on the par 70 course, getting the experience was beyond amazing.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Curry expressed his excitement for Odom and the entire Bison golf team.
“It’s unbelievable where the program is trying to go. The fact that Greg has been on the team, a true member in terms of representing Howard, the gold program and what we’re trying to do. He has amazing talent. To get him on the PGA Tour and get some experience, and Howard keep flying the flag, it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited for him, excited for the opportunity for him to showcase his skills and continue to put Howard on the map.”
“Man, I loved it,” Odom said. “All the people that came out here to support me, all I can say is thank you.” https://t.co/oOFNi2osc7
— Post Sports (@PostSports) May 6, 2022
Odom Was A Transfer Looking For A Home: Howard Came Calling
After spending two years as a member of the Memphis Tigers golf team, Odom entered the transfer portal in 2021. His desire to attend an HBCU for golf became a reality after Curry’s commitment to fund the program.
Odom says he didn’t hesitate on accepting the offer to join the Bison when the opportunity came about. Here’s what Odom told NBC4 in an interview.
“While I was in the transfer portal, Howard’s opportunity opened up, and I just had to take it,” he said. “This was also at a time when high school students were choosing HBCUs over Division 1 schools, so I was like, ‘This could be a power move.’ Coming here I was like, ‘I must dominate,’ and it will show the kids that the players really are on these HBCU teams.”
Greg Odom Sr. Taught Son The Game At An Early Age
We’ve all heard the stories of Earl Woods teaching son Tiger the game of golf. And Richard Williams teaching his daughters Venus and Serena the game of tennis. Well, Gregory Odom Sr. began to teach his junior the game at age 4.
Odom, even admitted to leaning on the advice he received from his dad throughout his tutelage. Those lessons helped him rise above the tenuous and difficult moments and come out on top in some of the biggest moments of his young and promising golf career.
pops we got us another ☝🏿
nothing like defending a championship and winning with the team back to back weeks 🦍🕯
— gregory odom jr. (@imglojr) May 7, 2022
That career now has him competing on the PGA Tour against the best in the world. What a difference a year makes. What an example of what Black college excellence can do with a bit of financial support.