By Linnet Carty
PGA of America
If you hear “I want to be a PGA Professional when I grow up,” who comes to mind? Most of us would probably think of a young white male, but golf is growing in communities of color across the nation. It’s true that the love for golf, or any other sport, bridges the gaps between us and unites people that share a common passion.
I recently met two young ladies, Makenna and Morgan Rodriguez who are like me, Black and Latina, Bla-tinas. I was impressed by their passion for the game, and their enthusiasm to make a career in golf. I soon discovered that not only do they love the game of golf but they are winning both here and overseas.
Their father, Ben Rodriguez, their ‘daddy caddy’, started them young, at age three. Their mom Nicole would get them ready very early in the morning and Ben would take them to the golf course and teach them techniques. To this day their parents have continued supporting their daughters’ goals in being the best in golf.
Earlier this year, I interviewed these two young golf phonons. This dynamic duo delighted the audience with their answers about learning the game, competing and their future aspirations. On the Junior Golf Scoreboard, Makenna is ranked #16 in the state of Florida and Morgan is ranked #1; and for South Florida, Makenna is ranked #6 and Morgan #1.
Makenna discussed her commitment to golf, how she appreciates her parents’ support and that she loves helping others with their game via her numerous YouTube videos. They both gave a big shout out to Jacob Weir, PGA, their instructor in South Florida. Morgan is very competitive, always tries to beat her older sister, and she is extremely focused when playing. When I asked Morgan what her biggest challenge was, she said, “my temper.” She gets frustrated if she makes a bad shot and used to have trouble getting her composure back, but she is improving on that by telling herself to calm down. Both want to become PGA Professionals and Touring Professionals along with possibly teaching.
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