The second African American Golf Expo was just held in Concord, N.C. This year’s conference brought together many leaders in the golf industry to share ideas, build relationships and showcase the positive attributes the game of golf has to offer. There were golf lessons for players new to the game, there were discussions on careers in golf and plenty of ideas on how to bring the game and careers in golf to underserved communities.
The 5-day event started with golf lessons, vendor tents, a First Green lab, and plenty of fellowship at the historic Charlie Sifford Golf Course in downtown Charlotte on Saturday morning. Sunday morning, the group participated in a scramble golf tournament at the Rocky River Golf Course near the hotel. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of a trade show floor and breakout sessions each day. The event ended midday on Wednesday.
While many of the attendees were at last year’s event, there were plenty of new people this year with which to visit. Many large, multi-course operators were represented, as well as the allied associations in golf. GCSAA had four staff members and two board members on hand, and we participated in all aspects of the conference including panel discussions, trade show booth and breakout sessions. On Monday, Rhett Evans announced the Larry Powell Scholarship to the group.
So, what does this mean to GCSAA members? Moving forward, expect to see more opportunities for people of color to enter the golf course management profession. This means careers in all aspects of the golf course and private club business, not just agronomy. This will open doors for individuals who may be unfamiliar with our industry and it may help the current labor crunch, especially when it comes to assistants and equipment managers.
Next year, the Expo will be in Louisville, Ky., at the end of August.
Jim Beatty and Craig Kirby of Golf, My Future. My Game, at the 2022 African American Golf Expo. These are the two gentlemen who have created the expo as well as many of the programs and initiatives showcased during the event.