Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

THE LAST WORD: Creating a Meaningful Minority Presence in Golf

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

THE LAST WORD: Creating a Meaningful Minority Presence in Golf

Article excerpt

THE LAST WORD: Creating a Meaningful Minority Presence in Golf

While Tiger Woods has evolved from a young gold prodigy to a dominant professional golfer, his success has tended to obscure the fact that the aggregate number of African Americans touring professional golf has decrease over the last 15 to 20 years. The scarcity of minorities at the highest competitive levels of golf is also reflected throughout the rest of the golf world.

Unfortunately, within the minority community, as well as many other segments of society, there exists a common misconception that some level of golfing proficiency is a prerequisite for golf industry employment. In actuality, many golf industry positions do require demonstrated golfing expertise, but the majority of people employed on the business side of golf are not skilled players.

The golf industry first and foremost is a business -- a business populated and directed by business people functioning in the same manner as other business and industries. Many of the positions -- both entry level and lateral entry -- opening every year in the golf industry require neither demonstrated golfing proficiency nor direct golf industry employment experience. Moreover, each year, there are a number of entry-level positions in the golf industry that could be filled with qualified minority college graduates -- if they were given serious consideration, which they are not.

In order to create a meaningful minority presence in the golf industry, the minority pool of qualified candidates seeking golf industry employment must be increased. Officials within the industry must identify and disseminate information about employment opportunities, identify and make referrals of qualified minority candidates, and generally encourage increased minority employment in the industry.

By the same token, there needs to be a greater awareness within the minority community about the realities of golf industry employment. Minorities should seek education on appropriately evaluating golf industry opportunities. And they should be encouraged by their communities to consider golf industry careers the same way they are encouraged to seek employment options in other industries.

Specific examples of current African American golf industry employees who have secured employment without demonstrated golf proficiency will encourage other qualified minorities to follow their lead. The most obvious example is Joe Louis Barrow Jr., the son of boxing legend Joe Louis. …

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