By Charles Dillahunt
PGA Inclusion and Diversity
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In golf, a growing number of women from diverse backgrounds are working to make the game better. They’re a crucial part of the PGA of America’s workforce—and will continue to add value to the sport, the more they’re included.
Madison Temple, of Vero Beach, Florida, has turned inclusion into a reality during her time as a PGA WORKS Fellow with the South Florida PGA Section.
Throughout her stint with the Section, Temple is running local and sub-regional Drive, Chip & Putt competitions, PGA Jr. League events, and team golf events in the region—even managing communications in the lead-up to each. From food and beverage to hole placement, Temple has it covered, along with keeping more than 100 parents up-to-speed on schedules, dates and times for each event.
The PGA Works Fellowship was created for recent college grads, and it is designed to serve as the most valuable entry-level employment opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain experience in all facets of the golf industry. But, don’t let the entry-level title fool you.
“It’s such a valuable experience, because even though it’s an entry-level position, you have a great amount of responsibility from the start,” said Temple. “You’re learning how a PGA Section operates and how they work with other PGA REACH programs, such as PGA Jr. League and PGA HOPE [Helping Our Patriots Everywhere]. You learn how these programs go from ideas on paper to being activated in real life.
“Opportunities like this are crucial to the game and history of golf, and inclusion and diversity must be a part of the industry.”
Temple received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 2018, where she was a Communications major and a Marketing minor. In a time when what you study in college doesn’t always align with your first “real” job, Temple has found a way to utilize her education throughout her fellowship.
“Madison is a valuable asset to our Section operations,” said South Florida PGA Section Executive Director Geoff Lofstead. “She is incredibly capable and has the ability to handle the many tasks that are thrown her way. Ultimately, she has completely managed programs within our Foundation space.”
“I didn’t feel like I was prepared to go into tournament operations when I first started the fellowship, due to a lack of experience and my major,” admitted Temple. “But in hindsight, it may be better that I was a Communications major, because I studied topics unrelated to golf and can look at the golf industry from another perspective that isn’t prevalent in the industry. While in school, I was studying marketing, not specializing in the game of golf. So now, being able to combine the two really works in my favor.”
To combat misconceptions about playing golf, Temple invited her friends to the course to play, regardless of their skill level.
“To get friends who were hesitant to play, we’d always make a theme for the round,” she said. “We’d have themed outfit days or special snack days, for example. It gave you something outside of the game to have fun with, while you were at the course. I catered to whoever I was trying to bring out, because once they got there, they were hooked.
“The only way you’re going to grow the game of golf is to make it available and fun for those who historically wouldn’t be involved. If we want the game to grow, we must include more people from more backgrounds. To do this, we have to begin to fight against misconceptions, and let everyone know the game of golf is inclusive.”
Temple was inspired by her mother, Susan, who played collegiate golf. Growing up, Madison would often play golf with her mom. “Because of that, I knew I wanted to be involved in it. It was always cool to see her have success, and it motivated me to have the same success in my own career.”
“The PGA WORKS Fellowship has given Madison the opportunity to experience many different aspects of a wonderful Association,” added Susan. “Watching her lead golf tournament operations, speak at the PGA Merchandise Show and work at The Honda Classic is empowering. She is setting the stage for an amazing future for women in the golf industry.”
South Florida PGA Section President, Don Meadows, served as Madison’s golf instructor from a young age. “He was the most positive, welcoming and kind person I’ve ever met,” said Madison. “Don always made it fun and motivated me to stay positive at all times, because he exemplifies it himself every day.”
When asked what advice she’d give to women interested in working in the industry, Madison said, “Just be nice, do everything and more than what is asked of you, and make plenty of connections. Networking is key in golf, as it makes the industry seem smaller, and getting involved is important. Even if it scares you to try a new task, just do it.”
After her PGA WORKS Fellowship is completed in May, Temple hopes to remain in golf, by working in digital media and communications.
The PGA WORKS Fellowship is a great way to get your foot in the door in an entry-level position, while also obtaining crucial experience needed to join the golf workforce. You can also make great connections that could ultimately lead to a career in the industry.
If you’re interested in following Madison’s path and applying to become a PGA WORKS Fellow, visit pgareach.org.