Darrell Maxwell – Trailblazer in Nova Scotia Golf  

Darrell Maxwell – Trailblazer in Nova Scotia Golf  

Golf NS caught up with Darrell Maxwell from his vacation spot in Myrtle Beach where he still enjoys a bit of golf in the winter months. Darrell was born in Truro into one of the most sports-oriented families in the region and quickly made his mark excelling at both hockey and golf. Darrell has spent a lifetime around golf, and the friendships, memories and experiences on the fairways have made him a humble champion and proud of his roots.  

Darrell began his career as a caddy in Truro at the age of 5. With the guidance of his older brother and Truro Golf Club’s Caddie Master the late Stan “Chook” Maxwell he would spend countless hours at the golf course, playing, practicing and getting lessons from his brothers. Darrell caught the golf bug early and spent most of his days at the club, from sunup until sundown it was a healthy way to spend the summers. At 14, he became the first black member of the Truro Golf Club and quickly rose to one of the province’s best junior golfers, winning the 1965 NS Provincial Junior Championship.  

Darrell was known as an exceptionally long-ball hitter, a skill that helped him be dominant in the sport over his entire amateur career. He reminisced about how his long drives would catch the attention of his competitors and spectators. A young 9-year-old Gerry MacMillan followed him during his junior win at the Paragon Golf Club. He was both honored and nervous when the legendary Moe Norman asked if he could follow him during his first round of the 1965 Canadian National Championship held at the Brantford GCC. Even in the 2003 senior PGA qualifier in Florida playing alongside Jesus Rodriguez, brother of Chi-Chi, Jesus was impressed with his length and encouraged him to continue his playing career.  

He jokes that there isn’t a Par 5 he hasn’t reached in two. And in his 1965 playoff win against Donald Fraser to win at the Nova Scotia Junior that was exactly what he did, hitting the first playoff hole the 550-yard Par 5 in two shots. 

Darrell was a trailblazer in the truest sense. After his junior championship there was a succession of Truro players who made their mark on the Canadian golf scene. Brothers, Luke and Freeman, cousins Kevin and Junior Jackson all qualified to make Provincial Junior teams in the years following. His brother Luke dominated the field in the Canadian Championship, losing to the eventual winner in a late round match. “Luke was the best competitor in the family, he had the grit to win,” remarked Darrell.  

To settle the long-time argument of who was the best black golfer in Truro at the time, Darrell founded the Black Invitational Golf Tournament in 1973. His idea was to “have our own have our own little golf tournament and settle the score on who can do what and we’ll declare a champion and they’ll have bragging rights for a year, at least.” Now named the Apex Tournament, his idea to promote golf among the black community is now in its 50th year at Truro Golf Club. It still draws members of the community, former black golfers and caddies who moved away to larger cities to find work. 

Darrell’s golf accomplishments are very impressive, here are a few highlights: 

His advice to young players today is, “to prepare your mind. You may not have the best swing to win, but you can prepare to compete with mental toughness, psychology and that is the most important thing.” Just when you think you come from a small town and can’t compete with those players from larger provinces your mental toughness can see you through.   

Darrell still enjoys a round of golf at The Marshes Golf Club in Ottawa where he spends time as a marshal and starter, helping others enjoy the game.