"Golf is a beautiful game that can give you so much. You don't have to be great , as long as you're willing to learn, and it’s something that you’re passionate about, ALL are welcome...male, female, gay, straight, black, white, brown, rich, poor -- I want EVERYONE to come to the game and appreciate it."
Golf is how I got hired into corporate America.
My dad worked in the golf industry, so I grew up playing golf since I was about three years old. I played competitively in high school, got burnt out and played basketball the rest of the time there. But golf never really went away. After graduating college, I started playing a ton. I was playing in amateur tournaments and competing. There was a tech company in San Diego and one of the executives knew that I played. We went out and played in a tournament and we did really well. When I first graduated college, this company had a hiring freeze, but after golfing together, they found a position for me, which led to many other opportunities. All of that stemmed from my being able to play golf. I've been fortunate as a better player to interact with high-level people within the business world – it became our common ground. It opened opportunities both personally and professionally that I might not have had if I didn't grow up playing the sport. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever lost a corporate tournament.
Today I work with inner-city kids introducing them to the game and helping them learn how to play and that’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever been involved in. Golf is a beautiful game that can give you so much. You don't have to be great , as long as you're willing to learn, and it’s something that you’re passionate about, ALL are welcome. I don’t care who you are - male, female, gay, straight, black, white, brown, rich, poor -- I want EVERYONE to come to the game and appreciate it.
I'm starting to see that happen. I’m a black golfer and I’m seeing in places like LA there are way more black golfers, there are way more young golfers, who are likely drawn in and influenced by their peers, more so than they are about what's going on at a professional level. They are starting to see golf get sprinkled with fashion and culture and they are falling in love with the game.
Now everybody has their own style, their own flair. If you have your “brand” and own that brand and have your own style I think that's dope. We don’t all have to look like the people you see playing on TV. They have obligations and must look a certain way, but the rest of us can just be comfortable. The public courses and places that really want to grow the game are about ‘come as you are.’ Although there are parts of the game that are sacred that shouldn’t change - etiquette and respect for other players is something new golfers need to learn and embrace. No one wants you talking in their back swing or walking in their line.
To me, golf has always been a cool sport. But now, I’m in my mid-30’s and my friends hit me up and want to start playing and are bringing their own culture to it.
Golf is a beautiful game. Golf is a lifelong game. You can always learn, and you can always improve.