January 14, 2019 by PGA REACH

Post-graduate opportunity furthers diversity in the game and business of golf

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLA. (Dec. 6, 2018)PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America — in conjunction with the Metropolitan PGA Section — has selected Sgt. James Eugene to serve as the first PGA WORKS Fellow in the Section’s office. The PGA WORKS Fellowship program aspires to be the most valuable entry-level opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to gain experience in all facets of the golf industry. 

After serving 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including four tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, Sgt. Eugene participated in the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program in Syosset, New York, which introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being, and helps them assimilate back into their communities.  Eugene was unsure what direction his life would head in after military service, but through PGA HOPE, he fell in love with the game, gained meaningful purpose, and is hoping to work within the business side of the golf industry.

After playing in the Secretary’s Cup at the 100th PGA Championship in St Louis, Eugene met Fernando Molina, the current Fellow for the Gateway PGA Section, who suggested Eugene pursue a career in the golf industry through the PGA WORKS Fellowship.

“All career paths start with awareness and opportunity and providing individuals from diverse backgrounds entry into the golf industry is a priority for PGA REACH,” said Ryan Cannon, senior director of PGA REACH. “PGA WORKS is an important initiative, and we’re thrilled to have Sgt. Eugene join the Metropolitan PGA Section.”

“This is an exciting time for the Section to introduce Sgt. Eugene as our first PGA WORKS Fellow,” said Jeff Voorheis, Metropolitan PGA Section Executive Director. “Along with PGA REACH, the Metropolitan PGA Section is committed to generating awareness and providing opportunities into the golf industry to individuals from diverse backgrounds.”

Born and raised on Long Island, Eugene, 35, resides in Farmingdale, New York, and attends American Military University, where he is pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. Eugene regularly plays golf at nearby Bethpage Black, host of the 2019 PGA Championship. Before attending American Military University, he was a veteran service representative at Nassau Community College, supporting veteran students similar to himself. During his tenure, Eugene received an Adjunct Faculty Association Award for Distinguished Service, as a result of his work. 

As a PGA WORKS Fellow, Eugene will support the mission and purpose of the Metropolitan PGA Section Foundation, including assistance with PGA HOPE programming, PGA Jr. League, the 2019 PGA Championship, and Drive, Chip & Putt. He will also assist with foundation administration, operations and fundraising events.

“It’s a true honor to be selected as a PGA WORKS Fellow and have the chance to not only work with the Metropolitan PGA Section, but help serve my community in a positive way,” Eugene said. “As a Marine, I’ve always strived for excellence and look for new challenges, so joining the Fellowship was a natural fit. I look forward to being a part of the mission of PGA WORKS, helping to reshape and change the face of golf, and further introduce diversity and inclusion into the industry in an authentic way.”

The PGA of America recognizes that it will be defined by how its commitment to diversity and inclusion resonates throughout its programs and practices. This commitment is mission critical to the health and relevance of the business and the game overall.

This year, the Fellowship will host 10 fellows in the following PGA Sections: Carolinas, Connecticut, Gateway, Michigan, Middle Atlantic, Metropolitan, New Jersey, Northern Ohio, Southern Ohio and South Florida. In 2019, the Fellowship will expand to host 11 fellows by adding the Western New York PGA Section. The long-term goal of the program is to have Fellows in all 41 PGA Sections nationwide.

For more information on PGA REACH, visit

PGA WORKS is the umbrella brand for all workforce diversification programs that are part of the PGA of America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, one of the organization’s foundational principles. PGA WORKS is an intentional effort to evolve the demographic composition of the golf industry’s workforce through a variety of programmatic efforts, including leadership development, fellowships, internships, scholarships, the PGA Business of Golf Career Expo and PGA Minority Collegiate Championship. PGA WORKS programs are designed to appeal to, recruit and retain diverse talent who are prepared to ascend into key employment positions across all lines of business within the golf industry and specifically the PGA of America. For more information visit,


PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.

About the PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit, follow @PGA on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.


Michael Abramowitz PGA of America 561/624-8458

Chelsea Hellems Dixon Schwabl 585/899-3244

Jeff Voorheis Metropolitan PGA Section 914-347-2325