'There is a Space For Us in This Industry' : A First-Person Perspective on the Power of PGA WORKS
By Morgan Taylor
Growing up, sports were a rite of passage in my household.
Although golf became something I fell in love with later on in my adolescent life, I was a competitive swimmer in a household full of soccer players growing up. I felt a certain level of pressure to live up to my siblings' sports abilities and I never knew how much that would weigh on me. As a short and curvy woman, I also had certain limitations in swimming that became detrimental on my mental health and my overall well-being.
With a head full of negative thoughts and no end of it in sight, my dad one day introduced me to golf. The internal calmness that came from walking on the course and the beautiful silence of a morning round changed my perspective on sports completely.
Much of my time playing sports I felt as if I had to compare myself to others the minute I stepped on the pool deck or the soccer field whereas, on the golf course, my mind was set on the hole in front of me. Golf truly is a mental game and it does not always matter how far you can drive the ball or how good your short game is. As my coach would say, “Golf is 20 percent on the course and 80 percent between the ears.”
I no longer allow the voices in my head that told me I was not good enough to affect my hard work when results come from the determination I set for a task. This golf mentality transcended into my everyday life and taught me to always look forward and work toward my future versus dwelling on the comparison of others in the present. I am my own person and I have many great things to offer just like everyone else.
This love for golf led me to my dream of working in the golf industry but roadblocks related to my gender during my education had me worried about my future in the sports industry. I was the only woman in most of my sports business classes and my voice was sometimes silenced or overlooked by my male counterparts.
"PGA WORKS means so much to me, because it's a program designed for women like me who have felt silenced by being the minority in this particular workforce to have the opportunity to be present in this industry."
For women in the sports industry who feel as if they are seen as less than because of their gender, I would tell them to BE LOUD. Make your voice heard in every conversation space possible and show all that have silenced you that you are here and you are hungry. Show them you will work just as hard and produce just as successful results.
The PGA WORKS Fellowship has given me the space to make my presence known and given me the tools and skills to advance my knowledge in golf and in sports in general. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I have been given during my fellowship so far at the Wisconsin PGA.
After this time with the Wisconsin Section, I hope to continue to put my mark on the sports industry in many ways while also inspiring young women looking to get into sports. I hope to encourage young women in the sports industry to put themselves out there and to realize that there is a space for us in this industry and it grows every day.
The time is now to go out there and take it.
Morgan Taylor is a PGA WORKS Fellow for the Wisconsin PGA Section. To learn more about the PGA WORKS Fellowship and to apply, click here.