PGA Championship

Local Louisville Students attend PGA WORKS Beyond the Green at 106th PGA Championship

May 15, 2024



Students from local schools and programs attend career-exploration event to learn about careers in golf and beyond

Editors: For photos of Beyond the Green, click here.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (May 15, 2024) - Before the world’s greatest golfers compete at Valhalla Golf Club in the 106th PGA Championship, students from the Louisville area attended PGA WORKS Beyond the Green, a career-exploration event designed to engage students from underrepresented backgrounds with golf industry leaders and innovators.

Held alongside PGA of America Championships and led by hosts Doug Smith and Will Lowry, participants gathered in the Club PGA pavilion Tuesday along the 17th hole at Valhalla for engaging panels and activities. They heard from industry leaders such as PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh and ESPN Senior Golf Analyst Michael Collins who helped introduce the vast opportunities to find meaningful career opportunities within golf, as well as industries that work alongside the $102 billion industry.

Local schools and programs in attendance included the Boys and Girls Club, CHOICE (Fern Creek High School), Westend School, Kappa League, First Tee Louisville and Jefferson County Public Schools.

“The game of golf raises about $5 billion a year in charity and is a $102 billion industry with two million jobs,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh in his remarks. “When we talk about growing the game, it’s not just about playing the game, it’s about you making a life and career out of the game. Most importantly, if we can make the game look more like the rest of the world, maybe the world will behave a little more like the game.”

Following a welcome message from PGA of America Vice President Don Rea Jr., PGA, panel discussions and activities followed. The “A Bold Life Beyond” panel provided thought-provoking insights about unconventional career paths that can lead to rewarding careers in or adjacent to the golf industry. The “Fairways to Airways” panel touched on how the art of storytelling remains a fundamental aspect of human culture, shaping how we perceive and interact with the world around us.

Speakers and Panelists included:

  • Michael Collins, Senior Golf Analyst,
  • Krissi Florian, Vice President of Production Management for CBS Sports
  • Nicole Peterson, Experiential Marketing & National Partnerships Manager, Lexus
  • Don Rea Jr., PGA; Vice President, PGA of America
  • Angel Rich-Jones, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Wealth Factory and #BlackTechMatters
  • Roger Steele, Golf Influencer
  • Seth Waugh, CEO, PGA of America
  • Kurt Weaver, COO, You Can Play
  • Fahad Zahid, Senior Director of Brand and Digital Marketing, PGA of America

“I’m here today because I wasn't afraid to say, ‘yeah, why not,’” said Collins in the Fairways to Airways panel. “I started out doing stand-up comedy. I did that for 20 years and then I ended up caddying on the PGA TOUR, all kind of by accident. From caddying and stand-up, somebody reached out to me asking if I wanted to do play-by-play for XM radio. All of a sudden I get a tweet from ESPN asking if I wanted to chat and next thing you know, I've been on ESPN now for almost 15 years.”

To wrap-up the panel discussions, attendees participated in a story-telling activation where they were assigned to brainstorm and pitch fresh, innovative ideas to market the PGA Championship to youth.

“I think Beyond the Green is cool. It's just a good way to spread the game,” said Caleb Seow, a local 17-year-old high school student aiming for a career in golf. “I already work for a golf course by my house and I'd like to go to college for a golf course management program. I think that would be pretty great.”

PGA WORKS is a strategic initiative, designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. Funded by PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry.

The 2024 PGA Championship, played Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, will feature end-to-end, 72-hole coverage via CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN+ and Paramount+, while, the PGA Championships app and social media channels also provide comprehensive coverage.

About PGA of America REACH Foundation

The PGA of America REACH Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of the Foundation is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA of America Golf Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf. For more information on the PGA of America REACH Foundation, visit, follow @PGAREACH on Instagram, X, formerly known as Twitter and find us on Facebook.

Media Contact

Jesse Dodson, PGA of America,