| Oct 06, 2021
We see the letters DEI everywhere in the media these days. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The We Are Golf
coalition has embraced the movement and committed time, energy and dollars to seeing it through. I think most people see this as a no-brainer and feel that bringing more DEI to golf is a good thing. But what does this movement mean to you and me?
During an all staff meeting at GCSAA a few months ago we were introduced to the DEI initiative. It all made sense to me, after all, I've been attending national and chapter meetings for almost 40 years and most of the people at those meetings where white men. Yes, there were a few women and people of color that you would meet along the way, but not very many.
Golf has taken a good look at itself in the mirror and realized that we don't look like society in general. So, how do we change that going forward? That was the biggest question I had after the GCSAA meeting. Am I part of the problem as a white male? What can I do to help golf become more diverse? These were questions I carried around for several weeks until I attended a meeting in Atlanta.
I was asked to attend the first African American Golf Expo in Marietta, Georgia. in September. I had the opportunity to hold a First Green
lab at the event, work at the trade show table, sit in on many break out sessions, and speak with many new friends. More than anything I had the chance to listen to many new ideas and programs that were being showcased during the three-day meeting. The more people I talked with, the more clear the direction was to me on how I can help move the initiative forward. There were internship programs, clubs giving free memberships to minority members, educational opportunities, and all sorts of outside the box thinking going on during those three days. Some of the participants at the expo along with GCSAA were USGA, PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America, Club Corp, Troon Golf and many others, as well. This is a big train rolling down the tracks and everyone who was there is committed to bringing diversity, equity and inclusion to golf. That means players, pros, superintendents, GMs and everyone else involved in the game.
So what can you do? First of all, learn about the DEI program that is happening in all the groups listed above. Secondly, promote the game and the profession to everyone at your facility and in your community. This could be job fairs, First Green field trips, or simply talking with someone who asks, "what do you do for a living"? Most of all, roll up your sleeves and get involved in any way you can. This is a very worthy program that will pay dividends well into the future for the game of golf!