As the celebration of Black History Month comes to a close, we reflect upon the past and focus on striding towards a new and brighter narrative that celebrates the rich culture of the black community. PGA REACH Gateway’s Inclusion pillar exists to positively impact lives of diverse populations. A few of the ways we do that is through the North St. Louis initiative and partnerships such as Tee Masters and Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis. It is through these partnerships that PGA REACH Gateway can be a part of providing unique opportunities to introduce golf to the youth of those communities.
Jerome Harris, President of Urban Golf of Greater St. Louis, took the time to share his thoughts and experience with golf’s impact in the black community. “Golf has provided some with exposure and opportunity to be successful. Through the partnership and support of PGA REACH Gateway, we have helped support and push black kids to and through college, and our fight continues. UGOLF has leveraged the game of golf and its principles and practices to expose our students, challenge our students, and balance our students” said Harris. When asked what Black History Month means to him and what he would like to share with the black community about golf, he said, “I celebrate my culture every day, because every day I am reminded that I am black and there is still a struggle to overcome, a fight to win, and contributions to submit to the overall success of America and its citizens. Golf has introduced me to some of the most amazing people around. It has also exposed me to the black contributions to the game like; Dr. George Grant who invented the golf tee, Joe Louis who was the heavy weight champion of the world and was instrumental in having policy changed to clubs to include blacks to play and compete, Tiger Woods that revolutionized the game, and the list is ongoing, and it shall continue with me.”
It takes individuals like Jerome Harris to help change the narrative of the black community and further the impact of PGA REACH Gateway and our mission. “By inspiring and directing the resources of our golfing community, we will positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections, and the game of golf.”