The Inclusion pillar of PGA REACH seeks to bring more diverse populations into the game of golf. Inclusion at PGA REACH Gateway is made up of the PGA WORKS Fellowship and a partnership with Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis.
The PGA WORKS Fellowship started nationally in 2017. It is a one-year paid experience for recent graduates in PGA Section operations. It seeks to bring in candidates of all different diverse backgrounds including race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and/or veteran status. Fellows are immersed in all aspects of golf operations and gain the experience to be the next generation of elite professionals within the industry.
The Gateway PGA Section has had three PGA WORKS Fellows since the inception of the program. The first was Fernando Molina, who graduated from Maryville University. After completing his fellowship, he accepted a position as the Director of Player Development at Golf House Kentucky. Natalie Long, a graduate of Lindenwood University was the next fellow. Currently, Natalie is the Junior Golf Coordinator for Gateway PGA. The current fellow is Cameron Dinkins, a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. All of the fellows have worked in all aspects of the section from junior golf to PGA HOPE.
PGA REACH Gateway understands the importance of embracing diversity within the golf industry. In order to achieve this diversity, PGA REACH Gateway has partnered with Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis to help expose minority students to the game of golf.
Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis is a non-profit organization that introduces the game of golf through golf education and provides support to students through after-school programs. These students take part in college tours, life skills programs and other developmental programs. Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis was created by Jerome Harris Jr., a St. Louis native. Harris’ extensive work has helped award scholarships to some of the students within this organization.
Urban Golf and PGA REACH Gateway have connected the missions of both organizations by building community through the game of golf by connecting it to the life skills of people who would otherwise not be able to be exposed to this game.
Both the PGA WORKS Fellowship and the partnership with Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis are important to PGA REACH Gateway in the work to improve the game of golf to all people.