A Leap of Faith Lead to the Ryder Cup for PGA WORKS Fellow Rachel Beers
By Abigail Kasitz
One leap of faith can change everything. Rachel Beers, PGA WORKS Fellow for the Wisconsin Section knows this better than anyone.
A Wisconsin native, Rachel went to UW La Crosse where she studied sports management, working in minor league baseball during the summers and living in various cities. Eventually, she made her way back to Wisconsin and stumbled into an opportunity in a new industry that she couldn’t pass up.
“I had no background in golf. I saw this job as an opportunity to learn something new,” Beers explained.
“When I started I was overwhelmed by all of the things I didn’t know. My coworkers took me to this indoor golf simulator every week, they taught me how to play golf and told me different things I needed to learn. I got way more comfortable and I had time to really sit and learn the ins and outs.”
Not that the section wasn’t busy, as they were deep in prep work for the biggest event in golf to play out in their backyard. As a WORKS fellow, Rachel played a key role in helping prepare for the Ryder Cup.
“I had the opportunity to design panels to go inside our chalet at the Ryder Cup to represent the Wisconsin Section. I helped Joe Stadler [Executive Director of the Wisconsin PGA] coordinate volunteers, and I ordered the apparel that all the volunteers wore.”
The autonomy that Rachel was given is validation that she made the right choice applying for a role in an industry that was foreign to her.
“This position entails a lot of things that I haven’t done before. I had minimal experience, but Joe let me really run with it,” she said. “I have a lot of autonomy. It's refreshing. It's nice to be in a position where they trust me to do what I can do. It’s an amazing experience.”
When it comes to amazing experiences, Rachel is not short on them. From hosting Members in Chalets to standing on the range next to Bryson Dechambeau, her hands-on Ryder Cup week would make anybody envious.
However, the moment that meant the most to Rachel may surprise you.
“I assisted with the PGA WORKS Beyond the Green event with the MKE Fellows. Panelists came in and talked about the different facets of the golf industry,” Rachel said. “It was such a cool opportunity to show these kids you don’t have to be a certain person or live a certain lifestyle to be in golf. You can just be who you are.”
“It stuck with me because that's how I felt. I was hesitant to apply for this position because I didn’t know anything about golf. I thought it’d be difficult to succeed because of that, but it’s not.”
Now, Rachel has found her place and had experiences that will not only help her succeed in the future, but have shown her where her passions lie.
“I really want to work in sponsorship activation or event management. I got to see those two things play out at the Ryder Cup,” she enthused. “I love the behind the scenes work. Putting everything together, curating this event and these experiences for people. Then you get to watch them enjoy it. That's something I absolutely love doing.
“Being a PGA WORKS Fellow is an incredible experience. This is something you don't think would happen. If someone told me that I was going to be doing this a year ago, or even two years ago, I would have thought they were insane.”