Saturday Jan 13, 2024

Episode 11: Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion in Golf

Welcome, golf enthusiasts! I'm John Failla, your host on the Golf Sustainability Podcast. In today's episode, we're honored to have Sandy Cross, the Chief People Officer at the PGA of America, as our guest. Sandy will share insights on a topic close to my heart—inspiring diversity and inclusion in golf.

In this engaging conversation, Sandy and I delve into her career journey, from starting as a licensing administrator to her current roles overseeing people operations, diversity and inclusion, and more. We discuss the PGA of America's grand vision for the golf industry, aiming to reflect the diverse demographics of America in both participants and workforce.

Sandy highlights five key areas of commitment in their inclusion efforts, touching on governance, education, workforce, procurement, and community initiatives. We explore groundbreaking programs like PGA Works, aimed at diversifying the golf industry workforce, and initiatives such as Make Golf Your Career and Make Golf Your Business, fostering diversity in career opportunities and supply chains.

Discover how grassroots grants play a crucial role in building relationships with diverse communities and supporting local programs that make golf accessible to all. Sandy also shares personal insights, including the transformative power of golf, her inspiration from her parents, and the challenges and triumphs of relocating the PGA of America during the pandemic.

Join us on this inspiring journey into the heart of golf and diversity. Stay tuned for more engaging episodes on the Golf Sustainability Podcast!


Topics Covered:

  1. Introduction and Career Journey
  • Timestamp: 00:00:00 to 00:04:00
  • Overview: Introduction of the podcast, welcoming the guest Sandy Cross, Chief People Officer at the PGA of America. Sandy briefly discusses her career journey and her current role at the PGA of America.
Framework for Diversity and Inclusion at PGA of America
  • Timestamp: 00:04:01 to 00:07:00
  • Overview: Sandy discusses the overarching framework for diversity and inclusion at PGA of America, focusing on the commitment areas, including governance, education, workforce, procurement, and community.
Internal Diversity and Inclusion Programs
  • Timestamp: 00:07:01 to 00:10:00
  • Overview: The discussion revolves around the importance of starting diversity and inclusion efforts internally. Sandy highlights PGA Lead, a program identifying and developing diverse PGA professionals, as an example.
Industry-wide Initiatives and Programs
  • Timestamp: 00:10:01 to 00:15:00
  • Overview: Sandy talks about industry-wide initiatives such as PGA Works for diversifying the golf industry workforce and Make Golf Your Career for connecting job seekers with golf industry employers. She also introduces Make Golf Your Business for diverse suppliers.
Grassroots Initiatives and Community Engagement
  • Timestamp: 00:15:01 to 00:28:00
  • Overview: The focus is on grassroots efforts, including the PGA Reach grassroots grants program, PGA Junior League, and efforts to make golf more accessible and inclusive at the community level. Sandy emphasizes the value of partnerships with organizations embedded in local communities.


Resources and People Mentioned:

  1. PGA of America: The professional trade association for golf professionals in America.
  2. PGA Lead: A program to identify and develop PGA of America golf professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Make Golf Your Thing: An industry-wide initiative to diversify the golf industry's workforce, supply chain, and participant base.
  4. A platform offering job seekers a centralized destination for exploring careers in the golf industry.
  5. A platform connecting diverse-owned vendors with business decision-makers for procurement in the golf industry.
  6. PGA Reach: The charitable foundation of the PGA of America.
  7. PGA Works: A strategic initiative under PGA Reach to diversify the golf industry workforce through fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and PGA job match programs.
  8. Grassroots Grants Program: A program under Make Golf Your Thing that provides financial support to local community organizations promoting diversity and inclusion in golf.
  9. PGA Junior League: A program for boys and girls under 17 playing on teams together, with scholarship opportunities and opportunity leagues for financial support.
  10. PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere): A program by PGA Reach focused on providing golf therapy for veterans.
  11. Black Girls Golf
  12. Latina Golfers Association
  13. First Tee: Mentioned in connection with supporting local VA hospitals and providing golf therapy for veterans.

Connect with Our Guests

Sandy Cross


Connect with Audubon International

PGA of America

Connect With Golf Sustainability

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Note: Timestamps provided are approximate.

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