By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Senior National Correspondent
In 2011, Black Girls Golf was just an idea.
After spending several years in Corporate America, Tiffany Mack Fitzgerald said she noticed how many opportunities were available to her male golf colleagues.
She decided to learn the game and create opportunities to build better professional relationships and connect with people in positions of power and influence.
On the group’s website, Fitzgerald said she learned the game but felt intimidated by the rules.
She said the learning curve seemed impossible, and she felt invisible yet again.
Two years later, Fitzgerald invited her friends to join her on a golf course in Atlanta. Twenty-six women showed up, and Black Girls Golf went from idea to a sisterhood.
Black Girls Golf has come a long way since then, with Fitzgerald featured in Women’s Golf Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, and several sports and business radio shows and publications to promote golf diversity and share her experience as a golfer.
Black Girls Golf has also established the Black Girls Golf Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to create a more diverse pipeline of leaders in the golf industry.
Click here to learn more about the BGG Foundation.
Fitzgerald told CNN that participation has skyrocketed during the pandemic and Black Girls Golf now has more than 4,000 members in chapters across the country.
“Black women make up less than one percent of the golf industry’s workforce, so a huge part of our mission is introducing girls to the career opportunities that are available in golf. And for professional women, there are so many benefits, including health and wellness,” Fitzgerald said.
She noted that the game provides enormous health benefits – both physically and mentally.
“For me, it’s been a huge stress relief, which helps my mental health so much,” she proclaimed.
“You kind of forget what’s happening in day-to-day life because most golf courses are so beautiful. And nature sometimes can be really serene, and it helps calm you and reduce your stress levels.”
She told CNN that golf also teaches essential skills that transfer to everyday life, such as discipline and self-acceptance.
“There are so many parallels with golf in life, you know, hitting a bad shot and being able to let it go,” Fitzgerald noted.
“Golf forces you to forgive yourself, to be patient, and certainly focus on the task at hand.”
Medical experts told CNN that playing golf releases hormones that lower stress and anxiety and improve memory.
Research suggests the sport’s social nature may also contribute to golfers’ longer life spans.
“Golf can put you in situations where you would never find yourself and next to people that you would never ever have met,” Fitzgerald insisted, adding that networking on the course could lead to future professional opportunities off the course.
Click here for more information about Black Girls Golf.