Category - Amateur Programs
Beyond the Green Introduces Golf Industry Opportunities at 2023 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship
By Jesse Dodson
Doug Smith, Will Lowery, Kendall Murphy, PGA, Scott Kmiec, Jasmine Cunningham, PGA and Dylan Gladney during the Get on Par presentation during the PGA WORKS Beyond the Green at Shoal Creek Club on Sunday, May 7, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The day before the 2023 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship presented by Chase Sapphire started in Birmingham, Alabama, college golfers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions from across the country were not only preparing for the Championship, but also for their careers at the PGA WORKS Beyond the Green at the city’s Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex on Sunday, May 7.
A career exploration event, Beyond the Green is held at various championships run by the PGA of America, inviting local high school and college students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to discover the opportunities available to them within the $102 billion golf industry, along with the chance to hear from local business leaders.
“The fact is, the PGA of America loves the game of golf,” said PGA Vice President Don Rea in his welcome message to the attending students. “The truth is, we want to share it with everyone.”
A networking and career-focused event like Beyond the Green fits well with each championship, but is especially poignant at the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, the most culturally significant championship in collegiate golf, as the college athletes will soon be entering the workforce. Luckily for them, their love for the sport can carry them into a fulfilling career.
“Beyond the Fairway” podcast Host’s Will Lowry and Doug Smith emceed the event, and sat down with golf industry experts and local community leaders to provide panel discussions to help the attending students start considering their future careers.
They started with PGA and LPGA Member Mackenzie Mack of Callaway Golf Company, Andrea Lattimore of Acushnet and Kendall Murphy, PGA, of Troon—each the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for their respective companies.
“You belong in our company,” said Mack to the students during the “From Whisper to Roar” panel. “Whatever you want out of your career, there’s a spot for you. We need to hear your voice in these boardrooms and organizations.”
The “Get on Par” panel focused on understanding the vastness of the golf industry. PGA Career Services Senior Director Scott Kmiec, Titleist Player Development Representative Jasmin Cunningham, PGA, Recruiting and Member Engagement Specialist of the PGA Dylan Gladney and Murphy discussed how becoming a PGA Professional can set you apart when seeking a career in golf.
Tyler Thomas, a freshman at Winston-Salem State University, already has plans to become a PGA Member and is feeling even more motivation to move forward after listening to the panels.
“I’ve learned that in this game it’s important to take initiative, because at times there are doors that are open that you don’t know are open,” said Thomas. “The biggest takeaway I got from Beyond the Green is to know there is a community out there that has open arms, welcoming me to work in this field.”
Utah Valley University Senior Kai Iguchi just received a degree in finance, but the golf industry has caught his eye.
“Beyond the Green has been great, there are a ton of employers here for us to meet,” said Iguchi. “It's been a great resource from a variety of employment opportunities in golf. A lot of us would like to play professionally but realistically not everyone will. There is a ton of fulfillment to be found by working in the golf industry.”
Finally, in a panel labeled “New Birmingham,” local leaders in the community like Miles College President Bobbie Knight, J.D., TechBirmingham President & CEO Deon Gordon, IMC Financial Consulting Founder Isaac Cooper, LRY Media Group CEO Rashada LeRoy and Alabama Power Company Director of Community Engagement Ralph Williams Jr. spoke with students on becoming transformational leaders and how they’ve seen Birmingham develop into what it is today.
Beyond the Green, sponsored by Alabama Power and CastleOak Securities, is one reason why the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship is more than just another 54-hole collegiate golf tournament. It shows that golf can provide not only a healthy pastime, but a career worth loving.
The 2023 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship will be played May 8-10 at Shoal Creek Golf Club and Bent Brook Golf Course and will be broadcast live on PGA.com and Golf Channel each round from 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm ET.