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It came down to golf or softball. Head PGA Professional at The Greens at North Hills in Sherwood, Ark. Dawn Darter obviously chose golf. Catcher wasn’t her destiny, but having a golf club in her hands certainly was. The sixth fairway of The Greens at North Hills was her backyard after all. Her brother was a stellar player. And her dad pushed her to give the sport a try. In more ways than one, golf was meant to me. There isn’t much that Dawn Darter isn’t involved in at her club today. But if you ask her about her golf club’s junior golf programming, it’s obvious it’s a passion and an area she takes great pride in. There’s a reason behind that. As a kid, her experiences as a junior golfer changed her for the better. “I’m passionate about junior golf because I had such a great opportunity growing up on this golf course,” Darter said. “I just want every kid to have a chance at what I have.” Dawn Darter has been a PGA Professional since 1984, holding various jobs at clubs in Nevada and Arkansas. She also competed in three U.S. Women’s Opens in three different decades as a working golf professional. Life on the road wasn’t for her, and she never secured her LPGA card, but her passion for the sport has never wavered. Dawn Darter always wanted to be a PGA Professional because of the PGA Professionals she grew up around in Arkansas. By staying grounded, and putting her best foot forward everyday, she hopes to impact others in the same ways she once was.
Stephanie Luttrell, now the Director of Titleist Metalwood Development, knew she always wanted to work in golf. She came from a golf family and played the sport throughout high school and was a walk-on at the University of Michigan. Gifted in both math and science, Stephanie Luttrell ended up pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. The advice from her dad - to find something you love and do it the rest of your life - was always in the back of her mind when deciding on a career path. Now Stephanie Luttrell is putting her degree to perfect use and living out her passion every single day. As a golf club guru for Titleist, she plays an integral role in the development of putters, drivers, wedges and other product categories. Depending on the level of golfer and the many other mechanics of an individual's golf swing, Stephanie Luttrell can craft the perfect club. Her knowledge is deep. Some might even say she has the game of golf down to a science.
One of the reasons we love this game is because of the majestic scenery. The view from the tee box, the finely manicured grass, the par 3 that goes over the water onto an island green…We play a sport where we get to appreciate the beauty of this earth. Today, we’re talking to someone who gets to capture that beauty every day - golf course photographer Evan Schiller.  Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
As the host of The Golf Channel’s daily show, Morning Drive, for ten years, Lauren Thompson has interviewed some of the biggest players in golf history. But did you know before she was in golf, she got her start in professional wrestling? This week, Lauren is on the other side of the interview as she and Mackenzie talk about getting to the green as a sports broadcaster.Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
When you think about a football player and a golfer, the images in your head are likely drastically different. For Josh Jackson though, he loved both sports and ended up playing on both of his college teams. And then, he found a way to combine the brute force of football with the concentration and finesse of golf - Josh became a long drive champion. Today on Getting to the Green, Josh shares his story of becoming a long drive competitor, how much money is available at these events, and if he'd rather win the Super Bowl or a golf major. Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
Maria Juliana Loza has made a career of creating, designing, and testing golf balls - to help us golfers hit less houses and water hazards and hit more greens. So what does a golf ball engineer do? And how do they get started in this field? Let's find out!Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
Dottie Pepper is an LPGA legend, having won 17 tour events and earning almost $7M on tour. But being a golf pro isn't as easy as it can appear, and today Dottie shares some of her early struggles with making a living, why mentorship was imperative to her success, and what it was like transitioning to the broadcast booth.Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver is available in hardcover, paperback, or audiobook!Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
You know Michael Collins as "America's Caddie" on his hit ESPN+ series. But what you might not know is how he got his start as a caddie on tour and what life is like carrying the bag on tour. Today, Michael shares his stories and gives advice on how to break into the tour.Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
New look, new name, new season! On Getting to the Green, we explore the many ways that you can find financial success in the golf industry. From caddies to broadcasters to engineers to pro golfers, we’ll share how they've navigated the golf business to get to the green!Getting to the Green is hosted by Mackenzie Mack, presented by the PGA of America, and is produced by Earfluence.
Anna Redding is locked in on her dreams of competing on the LPGA Tour. Even though she has her Sociology degree from the University of Virginia, her goals are channeled into the golf course for now and the foreseeable future. Anna Redding’s dad was a casual golfer, so she was somewhat familiar with the game. However, she discovered and fell in love with the sport when her grandparents put her into a golf camp as a kid. It just took that one experience to pick up a club herself that changed the trajectory of Anna Redding’s future. She went on to play golf at the University of Virginia and led UVA in stroke average for two years. Individually, she was ranked as high as No. 49 in final fall Golfstat standings as a senior and excelled in the classroom, being named to the ACC All-Academic Team multiple times. Among all her accomplishments, there’s one that stands out more than others: competing in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. As if the full-blown experience wasn’t special enough, from dining and housing to walking the sacred grounds at Augusta National, Anna Redding had the honor of hitting the very first tee shot with rows of patrons looking on. It was an experience of a lifetime that she continues to build on today. Between college teammates, a sports psychologist, coach and supportive parents, Anna Redding is certain the best of memories won’t end at Amen Corner. With a full Symetra Tour season on the horizon, after this year was cut short, she’s optimistic for the future. For Anna Redding, there is nothing more fun than competing. As long as she’s having fun with it, she won’t be done with it.
Joanna Coe’s lifelong career in golf has been fruitful in more ways than one. Most recently, it has brought her to the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship not far from home at Aronimink Country Club in Philadelphia, PA. Joanna Coe will be one of eight PGA and LPGA Professionals competing on one of golf’s most prized stages for the third straight year. Growing up, it wasn’t just golf that competed for her attention. But after a season-ending knee injury that sidelined Joanna Coe for her senior year of high school soccer, she took it as a blessing in disguise. Golf it was. And golf it still is today. Joanna Coe is currently the Assistant Director of Instruction at Baltimore Country Club. She’s responsible for coaching members and guests, oversees the junior golf program and represents the club in PGA section and national events. Joanna Coe fell in love with hitting balls on the range with her dad at an early age—and you’ll still find that competitive fire in her today. Settling on Rollins College to play women’s golf on a full-ride scholarship, Joanna Coe took a crack at going professional afterwards and experienced some early success; she made it to the final stage and the final round of LPGA Qualifying Series her first go-around. Joanna Coe is proud she gave that dream a shot. She ultimately decided it was time for some stability, which is what led her to earning her PGA Membership. Through all of that, and between still playing competitively and fully embracing her role at Baltimore Country Club, Joanna Coe has been able to find her niche in coaching. “I love inspiring people to play the game,” Coe said.
Between her role as a Director of Instruction at Wood Ranch Golf Club, being a licensed Psychotherapist in the state of California and continuing to compete in golf events, Alison Curdt’s pursuit of excellence never stops. Her journey in golf began out of mere jealousy. When she wasn’t quite old enough to play golf with her older brother and dad, she knew in that moment that she wanted to be a part of those experiences. Even at seven-years-old, Alison Curdt was bound and determined to not only play golf, but excel in it. By high school, the hard work and determination was paying off; she was getting noticed by college coaches across the country. Eventually Alison Curdt settled at Florida State University on a golf scholarship. It wasn’t just the golf that made her standout. It was her curiosity outside the ropes that opened doors, too. Alison discovered her passion, in understanding the “why” behind life and our behavior, and now has a standout resume to show for it. In just two years of undergraduate, she completed her degree in Psychology. With extra time, she joined the PGA Golf Management program for her final two years of college. With a Doctorate of Psychology degree and PGA and LPGA Master Professional status all in hand today, Alison Curdt has found a home in golf. What started out as a game she simply didn’t want to miss out on has grown into something much bigger than that. Combining her love for understanding individuals from the inside out, and passion for golf, Alison Curdt continues to shape minds, improve swings and shatter a lot of barriers along the way.
Golf was a somewhat foreign sport for Nisha Sadekar as a kid. She recalls her mom, a sports fanatic, watching golf on television. And it was her dad who encouraged her and her sister, Seema Sadekar, to give the game a try. Before long, Nisha Sadekar realized that, contrary to her own belief, golf wasn’t only for “old people.” Although her experiences as an Indian woman weren’t always easy or glamorous, Nisha Sadekar still forged an impactful path in the golf industry. Attending IMG Academy as a teenager and later playing golf at the University of Missouri, she began to grasp her true identity. It wasn’t until a conversation with her dad that really caused her to look at herself in the mirror and ask what her true identity, and purpose, in golf was. After taking a crack at going professional, competing in LPGA qualifiers Canadian Tour events, it was time to figure out what was next. That’s when PGD Global was born. Today Nisha and Seema Sadekar’s company is changing the way the game is seen, heard and played by activating event platforms for people, brands and organizations. She has helped run events for the likes of former NBA player Jalen Rose, Julius Erving and the Los Angeles clippers, and is inviting more women into the game through PGD Global’s Project Fairway and Bigger than Golf programs. It’s safe to say Nisha Sadekar found her calling—and golf is better because of it.
Megan LaMothe had a successful career with Victoria Secret. But once she took up the game of golf just a short time ago as a young adult, she came to a career-altering realization. This realization was that women’s golf apparel was lacking and she wanted to help fix that. Megan LaMothe used her vast range of experiences at Victoria’s Secret, like attention to detail and obsessing over how clothes fit, to bring her company to life. Foray Golf was born. And for Megan LaMothe, it’s more than a business: it’s personal. It’s about demonstrating that women can build something from nothing. It’s about her daughter Ray, who inspired the name of the company, and showing her how she can excel with other women and for other women. In many ways, Foray Golf is a sisterhood. As a CEO/Founder, wife and now mother of one, Megan LaMothe has a full plate in front of her. With only six full-time employees after four years of Foray Golf, the grind never stops, and the new product releases and innovation haven’t slowed down. Long-term, she hopes to expand the company’s international footprint and be the leading force in women’s golf fashion. Megan LaMothe has learned entrepreneurship is an endurance race. But with a product she’s proud of, happy customers and the relationships that have blossomed from starting Foray Golf, she will undoubtedly keep going.
Even though taking up golf started out as a bribe, Alexis Belton’s fiercely competitive side kept her committed to the game. She quickly learned that golf is a sport you can make uniquely your own; it’s a sport where ”everyone paints the canvas of the golf course a different way.” Alexis Belton is doing just that today as both a Symetra Tour player, seeking her shot on the LPGA Tour, and participating in World Long Drive. As she talks about in this episode of Fairway Tales, she wouldn’t be on the Symetra Tour if it weren’t for World Long Drive. When trying to figure out a way to make her money back from qualifying school, she stumbled across the World Long Drive competition. Without any clue of how she’d perform on the World Long Drive stage, or what to even expect going this route, she found success. In more ways than one, it has prepared her for the grind required of Symetra Tour players and given her extra financial freedom along the way. Beyond her power hitting and love of the game, Alexis Belton has dreams that are even bigger: making golf a more accessible game for people who look like her. For those who can’t afford the game, how can she help change that? For those stories in women’s golf we aren’t hearing about, how can she help tell those stories? As her platform grows, so will her impact.
The fight for a better world isn’t an option for Mackenzie Mack. It’s a must. Outside of being a highly competitive golfer and well-respected instructor, she is making an impact in the lives of many through her role with the Tennessee Golf Foundation as the Associate Executive Director and West Tennessee Regional Director. In this position, she delivers all junior golf programming in West Tennessee. While Mackenzie Mack is perfecting the craft of youngsters, putting her PGA and LPGA Class A Membership to the test, she’s also teaching kids the importance of life outside of golf. Her mom was the one who introduced her to the game. And now, Mackenzie is sharing that passion with the next generation in underserved communities. As one of a small percentage of Black PGA Professionals, she understands the barriers she faces in golf. Mackenzie continues to persevere, continues to inspire the people around her and has taken it upon herself to welcome many others with similar experiences and backgrounds into the game. During a time where racial injustice and discrimination is at the forefront of society, and having experienced it herself, Mackenzie Mack recognizes the opportunity in front of her. Using golf as the pipeline and her role in the industry as the platform, it’s time for action. It’s time to do better. It’s time to keep the conversation going.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Molly Gallatin began her career in sports with the Minnesota Twins. A job in Daytona Beach, Florida eventually took her away from her roots and an 11-year stint in baseball—and launched her into a new industry: golf. Molly Gallatin’s first job in golf was with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) where she served as the Senior Manager of Publicity. Her duties ranged from being the communications leader and spokesperson for the LPGA, to traveling around the globe to conduct on-camera interviews and press conferences at tournaments. From there she landed a job at the PGA of America and is now the Senior Director of Brand and Content Strategy. Although Molly Gallatin brings a smorgasbord of experience to the table, she has found her voice in one particular area of the game: new golfers. And part of being a new golfer means making sure all people, like the LGBTQ community, feel welcomed into the game. Being part of the LGBTQ community herself, Molly Gallatin opens up about the importance of inclusion in golf and how, as a brand ambassador, she can make a difference while also inviting others in the industry to do the same. New golfers come from all walks a life. Molly Gallatin has made it her mission to ensure all are included, welcomed and fully embraced.
It was the golf community that brought Natalie Long into the game, and it was the golf community that kept her in it. Through high school and college, she crossed paths with several PGA Professionals who were integral parts in her golf journey and future in the industry—one being Ed Schwent, PGA, who is the Director of Instruction at Old Hickory Golf Club. While Schwent poured his heart and soul into Natalie Long as a player and a person, it was another PGA Professional who sparked a deeper desire in her to pursue a career in golf. Natalie Long knew from the get-go corporate America wasn’t for her. She landed her first job in golf through the PGA WORKS Fellowship, which is a program that offers an entry pathway to learn about careers in golf to individuals from diverse backgrounds (whether by gender, age, race or color, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, religion or Veteran status). PGA WORKS Fellows are provided the opportunity for a one-year, paid immersion in a PGA Section’s Foundation operations, and the experience offers a taste of what a career in the golf industry can provide. It was during her fellowship with the Gateway PGA Section where she met Executive Director Ali Wells, PGA, and is now working alongside her today full-time as the Junior Golf Coordinator. It was Ali Wells who not only helped Natalie realize the possibilities of turning a passion for golf into a career, but served as the perfect role model for her to look up to. Thanks to Nataline Long’s PGA WORKS experience, and other PGA Professionals who opened her eyes to this pathway in golf, it’s safe to say she’s in the golf industry for the long haul.
Without the game of golf, Jane Blalock doesn’t know where she would have ended up. She was a natural athlete, and probably would have played softball or basketball if the opportunities existed at the time. But the fact that she didn’t have choices in other sports is ultimately why she ended up choosing golf. To this day, she still considers her journey through the amateur and professional ranks as accidental. Jane Blalock knew she was good at golf, but never really saw it as a long-term career. She began a job in education—until one conversation with her mom changed her mind. At that point it was decided she never wanted to go through life not trying something; she was going to give professional golf a try. She packed up for Florida to start golf lessons and the rest is history. After receiving Rookie of the Year in her inaugural LPGA season, Jane Blalock’s career continued to soar. She still holds the record for most consecutive cuts made on a professional golf tour at 299. Today, Jane Blalock continues to make an impact through various philanthropic initiatives and the KPMG Women’s PGA Golf Clinics, a nationwide series of one-day golf clinics held in a dozen major U.S. markets to provide best in class fundamentals and on-course instruction to female executives.
Head of Growth Initiatives and Business Development at Toptracer, a division of Topgolf, Jeehae Lee can confidently say today she embraces all that the golf industry offers. After her parents introduced her to the game at a young age, she realized that while her sister was a talented pianist, golf was going to be ‘her thing.’ Jeehae Lee ran with her talent on the links up until her time at Yale, where she played college golf her freshman year, but was ultimately more drawn to extracurricular activities outside of golf. The sport remained an afterthought while running various campus organizations and getting her degree in economics. But as a senior, Jeehae Lee wanted another crack at golf, so she re-joined the team for one final season. From here, she wondered what would happen if she truly committed herself to the sport after she graduated from Yale. To no surprise, she shot for the stars and earned her LPGA status after a rare, one attempt at Qualifying Series. Though Jeehae Lee’s time as a professional golfer was somewhat short lived, it opened the door to a plethora of business opportunities—like being Michelle Wie’s manager and meeting Topgolf Executive Chairman Erik Anderson. No matter what, one fact has always held true through her personal journey in golf: she’ll always keep coming back for more. Follow Jeehae on Twitter and Instagram.
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