Game Changers

A PGA Representative: Jasmin Cunningham

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Jasmin Cunningham, PGA

What do we all represent? Spend some time with PGA Member Jasmin Cunningham and there’s no doubt you will clearly understand who she represents: the future of golf. From the First Tee to the Titleist board room, she has succeeded with an infectious personality and a macro perspective on the world.
Although her career path is just getting started, there are many lessons we all can learn from this young golf industry leader. The first of which is to always be proud of your passion, because it is the key that will open doors.
Take a moment and listen to a brief conversation with Jasmin Cunningham on the PGA Show.
What are some synonyms for the word representative? You can be an agent, a delegate, or a messenger. Jasmin’s journey in the game of golf began around the age of ten when her dad took her to participate in her local First Tee program. Those life lessons they teach have certainly shaped the successful person she embodies today. She tried many sports under the support of her father. Like checking boxes off a list, she competed and practiced and never seemed to find a great match.
Thankfully, her father kept continuing the process. Never forcing the issue, he allowed Jasmin to keep searching. Then came her experience with golf and specifically The First Tee. She had found her place in the game we all love. Going forward, golf took center stage in Jasmin’s life. Listening to Jasmin talk about The First Tee, you almost feel as if she is an official spokesperson. Her story certainly exemplifies or represents their goal. Teaching children integral life skills through the game of golf.
Today Jasmin is a scholarship winner, a college graduate, a council volunteer, and a businesswoman. From high school and The First Tee, she moved on to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and their PGM Program. Cunningham was a recipient of the Renee Powell Scholarship. With this earned opportunity she took full advantage of her collegiate education. If there’s one thing this delegate can do its network.
By the time Jasmin was ready to leave school, she had taken full advantage of her college years. With a well-rounded perspective and approachable personality, she was a strong representation of a women with an awesome network. A community of thoughtful industry colleagues, friends and mentors who all helped her follow a unique path. Instead of taking a traditional role at a course past her graduation, she headed in a corporate direction.
For the next seven months she interned at The Acushnet Company. The owners of Titleist and FootJoy Worldwide. With that portfolio of First Tee skills Jasmin possessed, she was capable and commanded others attention. When it is time to shine, how do you represent yourself? Jasmin’s advice when it comes to overcoming challenges is to look at them as opportunities in disguise.
She admits to having a bubbly personality. But don’t let that word fool you. She is a very focused agent for change. What she refers to as bubbly is rather passion personified. Her gregarious way opens doors that were closed. Cunningham carries the ability to win others over with her enthusiasm. As the 8th African American women to be elected as a PGA Member, she is aware of what it takes to be a trail blazer.
Her positive attitude has helped her overcome all sorts of obstacles. In looking back, she just takes notes and looks for ways in which she can continue to be a future representative of the game. From an Acushnet Intern, she continues her journey and goes to work for the PGA of America. Please pay attention because there’s an important lesson in her career path. The golf industry has a million cool career opportunities. Find out what role represents you and success will surely be the result. She finds herself coordinating the PGA Works Collegiate Championship. As a manger, she is placed in a position where her perspective has changed.
By looking at the event and player landscape from a different point of view she realizes that golf needs more role models to increase the diversity in golf’s global community. This pivot moment enhances Jasmin’s passion for being someone others look up to. A representative of where the future of golf is going. With that refreshing viewpoint, she goes to work for The First Tee. Jasmin helps design curriculum for their programming.
Jasmin loved her experience with The First Tee. When you listen to her interview alongside this article you can hear the emotion in her voice when she talks about their organization. She’s only three years removed from college at U of M Eastern Shore and Jasmin has already worked for Titleist, The First Tee . and the PGA of America. That’s a pretty good resume and one that catches everyone’s attention. Especially those running one of golf’s largest equipment companies.
Back to the Acushnet Company and now a role as an Account Representative. Finally, a fitting title for this young women’s calling. Jasmin creates connections very easily with others. She refers to it as being bubbly, but when you ask her how we can learn from that famous personality trait, she uses the word passion. She instructs us to use our passion to reach our goals. Her belief is that passion is critical when you encounter obstacles.
Those difficult moments are tough, but if you express your enthusiasm to others, they will pay attention. By showing some fervor, others will recognize you as a messenger with a purpose. Look back at Jasmin’s path. By representing her passion for evolving golf’s ecosystem, she was invited to join Acushnet’s Diversity and Inclusion council. She now sits in the board room with a collection of other delegates that includes the c-suite.
Jasmin was elected to this council because others were certain of what she represented. They witnessed her passion and rewarded it. As a result, Jasmin is more inspired than ever to not only be that role model but speak up at the big table. If there’s anything we’ve learned about this young women’s story so far, there’s no doubt… people are listening.
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