If you love golf, there’s a career for you. If you love baking, there’s a career for you, too, even in golf.
This was the message of the PGA WORKS Beyond the Green event, held at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in PGA Frisco on Wednesday.
Students from Frisco Independent Schools District, University of North Texas and Mercy Street were taught by golf and culinary industry experts about how to find a job they love.
Beyond the Green is a career exploration program that takes place at PGA of America championships. Students from historically underrepresented backgrounds are invited to learn about the opportunities available in the golf industry and hear from local business leaders.
The students were also given the opportunity to tour PGA Frisco, including the PGA Shop and Fields Ranch Clubhouse. They also visited the fitness trailer used by the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship competitors.
“Golf is a $102 billion dollar industry with 2 million people working in golf,” said PGA of America Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Price as he welcomed the students. “Golf is a game for life. You may not realize this this morning, but you’ll be motivated to pursue this as a career by the end. That’s what today is all about, to open a door to make this game look more like society, so maybe society can behave a little more like the game of golf.”
Two panels and a demonstration of cooking were held after the tour. The first panel, named “Get on Par” focused on the vastness of the golf industry with Fields Ranch PGA Head Professional Trish Holt, Invited Clubs Director of Charitable Initiatives Chimeka Foster, PGA of America Chief Operating Officer Craig Kessler and Keeton Park Golf Course PGA Director of Golf Tony Martinez sharing their expertise.
“I get to live on the on-ramp of the game,” said Martinez, a former PGA Board Member. “That’s what I choose to focus on. I want you to feel safe and comfortable when you come to us to play or work in our industry. Just because there aren’t many of you, that doesn’t mean you’re not wanted or welcome.”
The golf course may be the backdrop of the event, however, food is vital to the players, staff, and patrons. The second panel, dubbed “Chef It Up,” featured culinary professionals Chef Chris Covelli, the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Realm Restaurant Group Sage and the Bijou Garden Cafe; Chef Leen Nunn, the Executive Pastry Chef of Omni Hotels & Resorts; and Chef Hoppie, the Celebrity Chef for Dak Prescott, Ceedee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott.
“Love what you do,” said Chef Covelli. “That’s the most important thing. Love what you do and own what you do.”
Chef Covelli demonstrated how to make pasta noodle using KitchenAid appliances after the panels.
KitchenAid serving as the title sponsor of the Senior PGA Championship is a shining example that you don’t need to know how to hit a golf ball 300 yards to find a career within the golf industry that you will love.
“What I love about Beyond the Green is the ability to see the realization the students have when they see they can do what they love within the golf industry,” said PGA WORKS Program Leader Cameron Dinkins. “Having KitchenAid here also creates a unique and aspiring opportunity for the culinary students attending.”
Tomie Anderson, a student at UNT, is pursuing a Masters degree in sports management. She plans to work in golf. Beyond the Green confirmed these plans.
“I’m interested in operations and community engagement,” said Anderson. “Putting on events like this, hosting tournaments and working with sponsors like KitchenAid are inline with my career aspirations. Beyond the Green has helped me in my career, and I would like to do the same for those who come after me. I think I can do that through the game of golf.”
Whether it’s community engagement, or cooking—the golf industry provides many career opportunities and PGA WORKS Beyond the Green is making sure everyone knows about it.