Former PGA WORKS Fellow Natalie Long Seizing Full-Time Career in Golf, Path to PGA Membership
By Carly Grenfell, PGA of America
It was the golf community that brought Natalie Long into the game, and it was the golf community that kept her in it.
Through high school and college, she crossed paths with several PGA Professionals who were integral parts in her golf journey and future in the industry—one being Ed Schwent, PGA, who is the Director of Instruction at Old Hickory Golf Club. While Schwent poured his heart and soul into Natalie Long as a player and a person, it was another PGA Professional who sparked a deeper desire in her to pursue a career in golf.
Natalie Long knew from the get-go corporate America wasn’t for her. She landed her first job in golf through the PGA WORKS Fellowship, which is a program that offers an entry pathway to learn about careers in golf to individuals from diverse backgrounds (whether by gender, age, race or color, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, religion or Veteran status). PGA WORKS Fellows are provided the opportunity for a one-year, paid immersion in a PGA Section’s Foundation operations, and the experience offers a taste of what a career in the golf industry can provide.
It was during her fellowship with the Gateway PGA Section where she met Executive Director Ali Wells, PGA, and is now working alongside her today full-time as the Junior Golf Coordinator. It was Ali Wells who not only helped Natalie realize the possibilities of turning a passion for golf into a career, but served as the perfect role model for her to look up to.
Thanks to Natalie Long’s PGA WORKS experience, and other PGA Professionals who opened her eyes to this pathway in golf, it’s safe to say she’s in the golf industry for the long haul.