New PGA fellowship gives young woman opportunities from youth golf to PGA Tour event prep
By Sarah Peters
PALM BEACH GARDENS -- At age 22, fresh out of college, Madison Temple is running the PGA of America's youth golf programs in South Florida, and in a few months, she'll have a hand in prepping for a premier PGA Tour event.
Temple scored a gig as the first PGA WORKS fellow for the PGA's South Florida section and started the job in May after graduating from Auburn University. The fellowship is geared toward recruiting people who may not look like typical golf industry pros, who work daily to grow interest and participation in golf.
The fellowship gives valuable, entry-level employment in what has primarily been a male-dominated sport, said PGA WORKS specialist Rachel Melendez-Mabee.
"The golf industry has been fairly homogeneous. It's only with intent that that narrative is going to change," she said.
Temple interned for the PGA's South Florida section last summer. Her passion for the game of golf, eagerness to learn and commitment to a career in golf made her an ideal candidate for the fellowship, said Geoff Lofstead, executive director of the South Florida section.
She's already accomplished much of what her bosses hoped, in part because of her previous experience. The fellowship is giving her opportunities "most young women her age haven't had the chance to have," Lofstead said.
Temple has kept busy running Drive, Chip & Putt local and subregional qualifiers and a 9-hole scramble tournament for golfers 6 to 14. In December, she will begin working on the Honda Classic, supporting various departments whenever and wherever they need her, she said. The PGA Tour event will be played March 1 through 4 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.
The fellowship also has positioned her to meet female higher-ups in a male-dominated industry, she said.
"Knowing that I do have a place in the golf industry is helpful," she said.
The Vero Beach native said she got a taste of working in the sport when she was a marketing and digital communications intern at Auburn. There, she met and shadowed the university's director of golf, Joan Alexander. Alexander also spent 10 years as a media official for the PGA Tour.
Temple saw how Alexander budgeted for tournaments, prepped equipment and communicated with other schools. During a men's tournament, she helped enter scores online and was a runner between the scoring table and scoreboard. Temple also played golf growing up.
When other industry professionals meet Temple, they're usually not surprised, because the section has had other women who have done "incredible work" in leadership roles, Lofstead said.
What's next for Temple?
She's not sure exactly. She's grown to love both junior golf and the pro side.
"I would like to stay and work in golf. I think it would be really exciting," she said.
This article is written by Sarah Peters from The Palm Beach Post and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.