Leaving a Lasting Impact: Kendel Abrams' Journey from the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to Beyond
By Anthony Witrado
Howard University student Kendel Abrams walks toward the fourth green during the first round of the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship.PGA of America
For some of the student-athletes that competed in this year’s PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship, golf is about more than what gets written onto the scorecard.
Kendel Abrams is one of those people.
A senior at Howard University, Abrams finished tied for 15th at the PWCC, concluded at Union League Liberty Hill and The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale on Wednesday. It was a respectable showing and gave a glimpse at the potential Abrams possesses to follow her dreams of playing professionally after college.
But for her, golf is more than just chasing her goals. It’s become about helping underrepresented kids find their own love for the game.
“My biggest dream is definitely starting my own girls academy,” Abrams said. “I started my girls golf foundation when I was 14 years old, and that was a continuation of the girls golf program [in] Baltimore that was ending. I just want to keep that alive and make an academy in which it doesn’t matter the cost, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. Any girl can compete and attend and just enjoy the game.”
This isn’t a new idea for Abrams. Since high school, she’s been working to make the game more accessible to kids who normally wouldn’t be exposed to golf. She created a nonprofit, Grasp Girls With Golf, with that goal in mind. And last year she was named to the GenZ Council, a group of junior golfers put together to share experiences and perspectives on the game, what they hope golf’s future looks like and to offer solutions for its current social and economic issues.
Playing in the PWCC, the most culturally significant championship in collegiate golf, was fitting given Abram’s passions. Last year, the Championship had 82% of its student-athelets identify as non-white.
“In my area, golf’s not that popular, and you definitely don’t see minorities playing the sport,” she said about her experience at the PWCC. “So just to see more minorities, more people that look like myself, it’s awesome.
“I definitely want to pay it back to the generations that come after me and see them accomplish whatever goals they want, whether it be professional golf, or a business owner, entrepreneur, you name it. I want to make sure their dreams happen and they meet as many people as they possibly can through this sport."