The PGA of America continues to increase its efforts to diversify the golf industry’s workforce through strategic engagement with Hispanic and other diverse communities. This intentional outreach is designed to engage these communities in order to have the golf industry workforce mirror America.
To increase workforce diversification, the PGA of America provides several avenues of entry into the golf industry for people from diverse backgrounds. This includes internships and entry-level opportunities with the PGA of America and its 41 PGA Sections nationwide, PGA Golf Management University Programs, and PGA WORKS.
PGA REACH, the 501(c)3 charitable foundation of the PGA of America, designed PGA WORKS to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry.
The PGA WORKS Fellowship in particular has proven to be successful, offering a one-year, paid immersionin the Foundation activities of a PGA of America Section along with an up-close view of career opportunities. Since 2017, the first year of the program, nine of 10 former PGA WORKS Fellows are now working in the industry. From the total of 18 Fellows who have enrolled in the program to date, five have been from the Latinx community and two now have full-time jobs in golf.
The first to gain employment was Fernando Molina, a former PGA WORKS Fellow in the Gateway PGA Section. Originally from Guatemala, Molina moved to the United States when he was 12 years old. Molina, who started his sports career in baseball as an intern for the St. Louis Cardinals, decided to try a PGA WORKS Fellowship after receiving a recommendation from a friend. Following the conclusion of his Fellowship, Molina accepted a full-time position with the Kentucky PGA Section as a Player Development Coordinator.
“The PGA WORKS Fellowship was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Molina. “After I applied, I had no idea all of the opportunities I would receive as compared to other entry-level positions I was applying for at other major sports organizations. The PGA WORKS Fellowship, by far, offered and proved to be the place where I could grow the most professionally. [SC1] It was a very easy decision to choose this over other options.”
Nicole Asbun, originally from Bolivia, began playing golf as a child with her grandfather and long dreamed of working in the industry. In 2018, at the age of 24, she was hired as a PGA WORKS Fellow for the Southern Ohio PGA Section.
“Being a PGA WORKS Fellow meant that I had the opportunity to positively impact lives through golf within PGA REACH,” said Asbun. “Being from Bolivia, I often think of how being a Fellow will help build awareness globally of this opportunity, as well as all it can provide for international job seekers looking to break into golf. It shows them that they can do it if they are qualified and put in the hard work to be able to perform once they arrive. It was a great opportunity to network and improve my career professionally.”
Following her Fellowship, Asbun accepted a full-time position with GOLFTEC, in Canton, Ohio, as a GOLFTEC Certified Personal Coach.
Both Molina and Asbun have turned their passion for golf into a career in which they can continue to make meaningful strides in their communities and profession.
Do you know a recent college graduate interested in applying for a PGA WORKS Fellowship? If so, please follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @PGAWORKS to learn how to apply and stay up-to-date with the latest program news and PGA WORKS opportunities.
To learn more about careers within the PGA of America, visit careers.pgahq.com.