WHISTLING STRAITS — On Monday, the PGA held a special event for Milwaukee students of color to experience one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, while also stressing the importance of growing diversity in the game.
"I'm thrilled. It's exhilarating to be here," said Marquette High School junior, Joe Fenceroy.
For 16-year-old golf enthusiast Fenceroy, it's an experience unlike any other. He, along with dozens of students from MKE Fellows, got a behind-the-scenes look at Whistling Straits, the home of the 43rd Ryder Cup.
"They inspire me to get out here and be great. And hopefully in a couple of years from now, I want to be on this stage," said Fenceroy.
The experience is part of the PGA's Beyond the Green initiative, a program to give high school and college students an inside look at the golf industry.
"A lot of people don't get a chance to see things like this, and really understand what it's like to rub elbows with people and help them achieve what they want them to achieve," said recent UWM graduate, Kyle Williams.
"They are all masters at their craft, and it just tells you how much work you have to put in to be great at something," said Fenceroy.
The event comes as the association looks to expose young minorities to business and career opportunities in the game of golf. According to PGA, as of 2019, only 20% of its workforce is made up of people of color.
"We need to continuously grow and reflect the demographic composition of our country," said PGA Works program lead, Rachel Mabee.
Mentors from MKE Fellows add opportunities like these are critical to help kids from underserved communities have a chance at a brighter future.