Original Tee was founded by Wendell J. Haskins, an entrepreneur with a vision of paying homage to African American pioneers in the sport of golf. The company name and first product – the “Original Tee-Shirt” – was inspired by Dr. George F. Grant, the African American inventor of the golf tee. Original Tee’s core objectives are the preservation of the game of golf, education on African American accomplishments in golf and instructing and developing a pipeline of new golf enthusiasts – especially youth.
Original Tee’s competitive advantage is grounded in its broad reaching relationships within the entertainment and sports industries. The growing popularity of golf among African Americans, coupled with market understanding, provides a broad platform of opportunities for Original Tee within the leisure sports lifestyle brand in New York. This lifestyle branding includes apparel, merchandising, event management and promotional partnerships.
The Original Tee Golf Classic (OTGC), our premier golf tournament, is one of the cornerstones of the company and enables us to contribute to causes and initiatives whose goals and commitments match our own.
Learn More about Our President & Founder
Wendell J. Haskins founded Original Tee in 1999 after more than a decade of experience as an entertainment industry executive. His entrepreneurial drive combined with his passion for golf inspired the Original Tee brand, designed to promote the lifestyle of the worldly golf enthusiast. Mr. Haskins has developed a following as an expert on the contributions of diverse audiences in the sport of golf. He has made it his mission to expose and nurture diverse participation in the game and business of golf.
Original Tee includes the Original Tee Clothing Brand and the now successful Original Tee Golf Classic which donates a portion of its proceeds to various causes and initiatives, like the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association. The Original Tee Golf Classic has received support from highly respected companies including BMW, American Express, Reuters, Mercedes-Benz, Pepsi, Diageo, and Titleist. Mr. Haskins’ creative mind, love for the game of golf, event promotion experience, and legacy of style come together in the Original Tee concept designed to revolutionize the industry and the aspirational lifestyle of generations to come.
Mr. Haskins has appeared on numerous panels and has been a featured speaker on the topic of diversity in golf and also speaks to audiences about the variety of opportunities available through the golf industry. He firmly believes that the youth are the future of golf and has been committed to increasing African American participation in the sport. Leveraging his vast network of relationships with business professionals and celebrities, Mr. Haskins allows the youth to be exposed to relatable role models who are avid golfers.
Mr. Haskins has established strategic partnerships with The PGA, ESPN, Golf Digest, and The New York Times to gain greater visibility for the contributions of African Americans in the sport. Mr. Haskins has planned to develop a series of national and international golf events that celebrate the rich diversity of the game of golf. His dream is to take the spirit of the Original Tee Golf Classic around the world and bring people of every walk of life together on the links.