If you love golf, there’s a career for you. If you love baking, there’s a career for you, too, even in golf.
That was the message behind the PGA WORKS Beyond the Green career exploration event Wednesday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at PGA Frisco.
Local high school and college-aged students from the Frisco Independent School District, University of North Texas (UNT), and community groups United Way, Community Engagement and Opportunity Councel and Mercy Street learned from golf industry experts and culinary experts about finding a career they will love.
A career exploration event, Beyond the Green is held at various championships run by the PGA of America, inviting local students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to discover opportunities in the golf industry, along with the chance to hear from local business leaders.
Students were also provided the opportunity to tour the grounds of PGA Frisco with stops at the PGA Shop, the Fields Ranch clubhouse and the fitness trailer that the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship contestants use throughout the championship.
“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 know this morning that this is something you can do, but hopefully by the end of the day you will feel inspired to consider this industry as a career. 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.”
After the tour, two panels and a cooking demonstration were held. 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 us to be a safe place for you to come and feel comfortable to play the game or work in the industry. Just because there aren’t many of you, that doesn’t mean you’re not wanted or welcome.”
Golf might be the landscape of the event, but food is essential to the nourishment of players, staff and patrons during the championship. 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.”
After the panels Chef Covelli provided a cooking demonstration, showing students how to make pasta noodles with KitchenAid appliances.
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.”
UNT student Tomie Anderson is working on earning a Masters in sports management and has plans to work in the golf industry. Attending Beyond the Green confirmed those 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. Events like Beyond the Green have helped me in my life, so I would love to do the same thing for those coming up 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.