From teaching kindergarten to now teaching golf, Morgan is growing the game for juniors.
Here is her story:
What's your current position in the golf industry?
I'm the assistant golf professional at the River Club Golf and Learning Center in Clarksville, Tennessee. I've been there, it'll be a year in July. Before that, I was the assistant pro at the Legacy, which is about 45 minutes away from where I'm working at now.
Is this something that you knew you wanted to do?
I kind of stumbled upon it. I was a kindergarten teacher for a year and a half. I played collegiate golf and I got injured and my career ended early and I kind of removed myself from the whole golfing community just because I barely knew how to cope with that. You know, suddenly being injured and my college career coming to an end.
So, I do enjoy working with kids. I was like, "Okay, I think I want to be a teacher." And then I got into the classroom and I missed being outside all the time. I do love teaching but I didn't ever think that I would end up teaching golf.
So how did you transition from kindergarten to the golf industry?
While I was teaching, I realized that I wanted to get my LPGA certification. I reached out to some head pros at local courses near where I lived to start off working at a golf course. I had a couple interviews and the head pro at Legacy was like, "I would like to hire you, but would you like to start out working on the weekends while you're teaching kindergarten? Because I need someone to work." So I agreed to it. From February to March, I was teaching kindergarten Monday through Friday. And then I was working at the golf course Saturday and Sunday. And then the assistant pro job that I have now opened up and it's 10 minutes away from my house. In July, I took that position.
Did you grow up playing golf?
I started playing when I was about four. I also played tennis and softball. Probably around age 12, I just focused on golf.
How do you think that the golf industry benefits from having women in leadership positions?
You know, there's always been a lower percentage of women that play golf. I think it really just grows the game with more women playing and then younger girls wanting to get out and play with the LPGA girls golf clinics and all the different things that we have for resources now.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job would probably be the relationships that I build with the junior golfers that I work with.
Do you mostly focus on junior golf?
Yeah. I've probably given a handful of lessons to adults but 90% are juniors. They're so much fun.
Do you have any advice for anyone teaching juniors specifically?
I think the best thing is game-based learning. As they're playing the game is when you give their instruction because no five year old wants to stand and listen to you say, "Okay, we are going to grip it like this." But if they see fun little ducks on the putting green or anything like that, and they're playing a game and then you go up and say, "Here, let's adjust your hand," they just seem to be much more interested.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in the industry?
I think men aren't as open to getting golf instruction from women. I think that probably is the biggest one.
Do you think there's a reason for that?
I think it's just tradition repeating itself. And also, you know, I'm 25. So, I guess if I was an older person, it might feel kind of weird to go to someone that's younger than me for help.
How do you think we can get more women working in the golf industry?
I feel like there really isn't a way to try out an internship or a way to try giving instruction before going full force and entering the PGM program. If there was an organization affiliated with the LPGA or PGA that offered something like a portal for internships for people interested in the industry, that could be helpful. The LPGA and the PGA is definitely money out of your pocket to start that and so I guess some people are kind of, not afraid, but they don't know if they're going to love it. So they don't know if they want to spend that money. I just think more internships and more opportunities to work camps or clinics or anything like that would be awesome.
What advice would you give women starting their career in the golf industry?
I'm in Level 2 for the LPGA and I just love all the people that I've met and starting to be in our organization, going to all the levels, and networking and all of that. I think the US Kids golf seminars are a great way to also network with people, but really, just learn as much as you can and watch all the webinars that the LPGA and the PGA provide. Just joining the LPGA or PGA I think is really the best thing anyone can do.
Thank you so much to Morgan for sharing your story! Morgan is always posting great content on her social media so be sure to follow her on Instagram @morganmeeksgolf and give @golf.hers a follow as well!
Subscribe below, stay safe, and let's keep growing the game of golf.