Cori Langford's Quest for a Career in Golf and to Make the Game 'Something for Everyone'
By Kayla Gutierrez
Cori Langford counts the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship held at TPC Sawgrass as one of her career highlights.
As a young girl, Cori Langford would have never thought about picking up a golf club and playing the game. But now, 10 years later, she is close to becoming a PGA Professional.
And she credits it all to her dad.
Family is everything to Langford. Raised by her two loving parents, Mark and Naomi, she spent most of her childhood on Long Island in New York where she focused a majority of her time on a competitive dance career.
The Langford family later moved to Columbia, South Carolina, where they lived on a small private golf course called Windermere Golf Club. Cori grew up surrounded by the game, but it was her dad's encouragement that ultimately influenced her to play.
“My dad always instilled in me that Langfords are never quitters and you can do whatever you put your mind to," says Cori. "Even when life gets tough, he tells me to face the challenges head on and remember that I have him in my corner. He is my biggest supporter and my No. 1 fan who's honest, understanding, cares deeply for others, and would do anything to see me succeed.
"He pushes me to be my best everyday. I truly would not be the person I am today without my dad.”
Not long after her father motivated her to pick up the sport, Langford began playing competitively on her high school varsity girl's golf team. As the only Black girl on the team, the experience had its difficulties.
“I didn’t really look like the other girls on my team and the girls we competed against," recalls Langford. "I could feel that I stood out on the course and that was discouraging for me at times. I hated feeling different."
Remembering her dad's family mantra, Langford didn't quit. In fact, the adversity motivated her to continue playing at a high level in college.
Her dreams of playing Division I golf became a reality when she was given the opportunity to play at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), a Historically Black College & University in Princess Anne, Maryland. With the perfect combination of a PGA Golf Management University Program and a D-1 women's golf team, it was clear UMES was exactly where she was meant to be.
Now, golf is her entire world. Cori played in the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship at TPC Sawgrass, attended the 2022 PGA Annual Meeting, serves as treasurer of the UMES PGM Student Association, and is completing the PGA PGM Program and paid internships to obtain her PGA Membership. The PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, most notably, allowed her to embrace her diversity and become a part of something that holds near to her heart.
“It allowed me to meet some of the most humble and inspiring people that I have looked up to since I started playing golf," says Langford. "There is a certain sense of community with the tournament, especially for Black golfers like me, that makes me excited for my future in the industry. Being provided the space to capitalize on my academic and athletic strengths is something I truly cherish.
"I hope that I can inspire the next generation of young Black junior golfers. I want to show them that golf has something for everyone and there are no limits to how far the game can take you."
Interested in exploring a career in golf or PGA Membership? You can find more information today by visiting pga.org/workingolf.