Because of this, central Florida-based organization FairWays to Leadership was founded in 2020 to help teach golf to college students from diverse communities in the local area. As only 23% of all golfers are female and only 18% of all golfers are people of color, sharing the basics of the game can better equip future working professionals with the tools they need to climb the corporate ladder.
To help in their efforts, the LPGA awarded the organization a $10,000 grant and hosted a career day for ten of their students at the Epson Tour’s 2021 Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. This career day included information sessions on developing skills like business leadership and networking, taught attendees how to use the game as a business tool, and gave a behind the scenes look at how the LPGA puts on tournaments as a business.
“Fairways to Leadership is a terrific organization for college students to learn the game while enhancing their business and leadership skills,” said Laura Diaz, Director of LPGA Foundation Operations. “The LPGA is proud to support their mission and we look forward to being part of their expansion.”
And the students that attended felt the impact. Here are some of their reactions to the day:
“The greatest takeaway from today was honestly being able to network and socialize with LPGA professionals. Getting to talk about diversity, leadership, rules of the golf course and just over all being able to talk about future opportunities.”
“It has been an extraordinary experience! I learned so much about the industry of golf behind the scenes, what it takes to put on an event such as this on a grander scale, and I also learned so much about the people behind it and the passion that they have not only for the game of golf but also for the success of an event such as this. I was really, really pleased with my experience, and I encourage other people to come as well.”
“This experience has been really fun and super insightful on what it takes to plan a huge golf tournament. I never understood all the moving parts that went into it, all the operational sides of it, and how much the staff care about the golfers. And all of that has been an eye opening experience as well as being able to network and learn the rules of golf. I now have a better understanding of just how much effort people put into golf. The biggest takeaway was honestly understanding the industry better as a whole.”
You can learn more about FairWays to Leadership here.