summer the U.S. Open returns to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. In
partnership with the USGA, the club has established the Lee Elder Internship, a
one-week immersive experience during the 122nd playing of the national championship.
for one of golf’s true trailblazers, the innovative program is designed to
introduce under-represented youth to the game and its core values, while also
showcasing golf’s many career pathways. Over the course of a week, 25
individuals will be exposed to multiple facets of the business of golf and gain
firsthand experience and insight from industry leaders. The daily curriculum
will cover tournament operations, media, course maintenance and design, sales
and marketing, facility operations and management, and other relevant topics.
are more than two million jobs within the $84 billion golf industry, but only a
small fraction of them are held by those from under-represented communities.
The mission of this foundational program is to help address this imbalance. It
is the latest in a series of proactive programs in golf to encourage people
from diverse communities to participate in golf and explore the many career
opportunities in the game.
remains one of the major challenges facing the golf industry, one that can only
be addressed with continued emphasis and initiatives to reach underrepresented
individuals,” said Will Fulton, General Chair for the 2022 U.S. Open, which
will be played June 13-19. “This program is designed to play a role in this
ecosystem by reaching new audiences at formative times, providing them with information
and establishing relationships with golf leaders. It’s a model we have every
expectation [that] can be replicated in the future.”
Country Club and the USGA will cover the program’s costs, including travel
expenses and accommodations for all interns. The membership of The Country Club
and the USGA plan to leverage the worldwide exposure and incredible learning
experience of the U.S. Open Championship to open conversations and
opportunities for more people in the game.
was a pioneer in integrating golf and laying the groundwork for generations
that followed. He was the first African American golfer to play in The Masters
and the first to play on a United States Ryder Cup team. In 2019, he became the
first African American to receive the USGA’s Bob Jones Award, the association’s
highest honor to recognize individuals who demonstrate Jones’s exemplary
spirit, character, and respect for the game.
have always worked hard to help underprivileged kids have greater opportunities
in life,” Elder said. “I am honored to be associated with this important new
program, one that will provide several exceptional opportunities for minority
representation in the game of golf.”