A local businessman who provides after-school golf lessons to children has received a national award for outstanding minority-owned business.

John Walton, co-owner of O.K. Golf of Charleston, will be honored Sept. 16 at the 2nd annual SCORE Awards during a black-tie event in Washington, D.C.

Walton, 64, retired from Sears in 2002 as general manager at Citadel Mall with nearly 30 years at the department store. He formed the golf business in 2005 with co-owner Steve Conrad to help children ages kindergarten through 8 to develop golf skills through special equipment and teach them sportsmanship, team work, math and life skills at schools across metro Charleston.

SCORE, which provides mentoring and workshops to new small businesses, helped Walton start his new venture.

“I spent my career in the business industry, but it was not as a business owner,” Walton said. “They helped me with business plan formation and a marketing strategy. SCORE was invaluable in identifying resources that would get our business up and running.”

Walton said he was flattered by SCORE’s selection.

“To see a young person swing a golf club and hit a ball that soars into the air and see their eyes light up, it’s really enjoyable,” Walton said. “I’m really proud and excited for the selection.”

Read more in Thursday’s editions of The Post and Courier.