Q & A with Northern Ohio PGA WORKS Fellow Brooke Morgan
March 26, 2019 by By Charles Dillahunt
Brooke Morgan, 23, of Akron Ohio, is currently a PGA WORKS Fellow in the Northern Ohio PGA Section. A lifelong golfer, Morgan kickstarted her dream of working in the golf industry by turning her passion into a career. Along the way, she has met some influential people who have made a lasting impression.
When did you begin playing the game of golf?
My father, David, put golf clubs in both of my brothers’ hands—as well as my own—at a very young age. That’s when it became apparent that I had a pretty good swing. Soon after, he entered us into The First Tee of Akron, Ohio.
Brooke has always been competitive and passionate about competing because of her two older brothers, Trey and Christian. So, one day, I put a club in Brooke’s hand, put a ball down, and told her to take a swing. Her swing was pure and natural, and that’s when I knew that she could probably do well in the sport, especially because of how passionate she’s always been in everything she does—whether it’s on the playing field, at work or life in general.
– David Lee Morgan, Jr. (Brooke’s Father)
What did you enjoy most about playing the game?
I was not only able to hang out with friends but also practice a game I was naturally drawn to. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I worked for Mud Run Golf Course, the course where I played when I was in The First Tee for so many years. In return, I was able to play for free whenever I was at the course. That’s when I really began to enjoy the game and got in the groove of playing nine holes competitively. I recognized that I had some talent, so I would spend sunup to sundown on the course, learning as much as I could, because I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to be able to play the game at the next level.
Detail your career as a player. What type of hurdles did you have to climb that most golfers normally wouldn’t? I played for Firestone High School in Akron, Ohio, and was the number one girls golfer on the golf team all four years. During my sophomore year, all the other girls on the team graduated, so they cut the girls team entirely. With no girls team, in order for me to continue playing competitively, this now meant I had to become a member of the boys team. I was the “6th man” on varsity, and spent my junior year playing from the blue tees with the boys. It took me two extra shots to score the same as the guys, which made my confidence dwindle. Eventually, the league I played in allowed me to be the girls team—all on my own. This ruling allowed me to play against the other team’s number-one ranked girl player, and have my scores posted for college coaches to see. Once I graduated from high school, I played for Walsh University, and eventually reached captain status my senior year.
PGA of America Hall of Fame Member Renee Powell, PGA/LPGA, played a major part in your development as a PGA Professional. What did she teach you that has made an impact on your career? When I graduated from college, I worked for Renee Powell at Clearview Golf Course, and she took me under her wing immediately. She taught me about the business side of golf, and how to successfully run a golf club. I learned administrative responsibilities; her teaching style when she taught golf clinics; and was also able to help with the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere] program, where I made lasting relationships with Veterans. She taught golf course etiquette and manners I never would’ve known, if it wasn’t for her guidance. It has meant everything to my career to have her as a mentor.
The first thing I noticed about Brooke was her positive personality and her love of the game of golf. Her willingness to learn more about our industry and to be involved in golf has really endured me to her. No matter the task, she does not back away from it. She is such a great asset to our industry.
– Renee Powell, PGA of America Hall of Fame Member, PGA Head Professional - Clearview Golf Club, East Canton, Ohio
What makes the PGA WORKS Fellowship such a valuable experience?
I’m involved in crucial PGA Section operations, and that is what makes it so beneficial. I’m not just sitting in on meetings, I’m able to participate in them. My leaders ask for my input, and value my opinions and thoughts. Having an Executive Director ask for my opinion on a subject is beneficial to my growth as a PGA Professional. Most jobs for recent graduates don’t allow them access to help make important business decisions. I’m fortunate that the PGA WORKS Fellowship provides an opportunity for me to do that.
What are your responsibilities within the Northern Ohio PGA Section?
The state of Ohio only has a few short months of golf weather, so we must always jam pack events into the summer. During those months, I was tasked with tournament management. I was responsible for helping set up every tournament we hosted. In the office, I’m responsible for coordinating board meetings, reaching out to courses to schedule events and answering local member questions when they call in.
Why do you believe Inclusion and Diversity is important to growing the game?
I believe that it is important that the golf industry mirrors America, so that the people living in our country can see people in the game that look like they do. As the saying goes, “If you can see it, you can be it.” The more people that see others who look like them, the more they feel like they belong. It’s crucial to growth.
What advice would you give potential PGA WORKS Fellows to get the most out of their experience?
Ask as many questions as possible in your PGA Section. The people you work with will love to answer them and help you learn more about Section operations. They will understand you’re there to learn and will love to play a part in your growth. Make sure you take advantage of all the resourceful and experienced people around you, because you will not regret it.
The PGA WORKS Fellowship is a great way to gain valuable experience, as it provides a unique, entry-level opportunity to work in the golf industry. You can also build connections through the Fellowship that ultimately lead to a long-term career in golf.
To read more PGA WORKS Fellowship experiences, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @PGAWORKS.
If you’re interested in applying to become a PGA WORKS Fellow, visit pgareach.org