African Americans and Golf with Jim Beatty


Jim Beatty had little interest in golf growing up in his native Chicago. That was until a visit to Nebraska and a meeting with the state's first African American PGA of America Golf Professional, Steve Hogan, changed all that.

Hogan, who ran a par 3 course in Omaha at the time, introduced Beatty to the game and from there, he was hooked.

This proved to be the catalyst for a decorated career in which Beatty not only runs his own business, Jim Beatty Golf Ventures, but also founded the African American Golf Expo and serves as the Executive Editor of the African American Golf Digest.

He sees it as playing his part in a wider movement towards bringing greater diversity into the game of golf.

And while his motivation is rooted in the growth and sustainability of the game, Beatty points to a significant commercial opportunity for the industry too. African Americans' value to the US golf market tops $4 billion, yet they make up only 5% of the United States' 25 million golfers. Beatty believes there is an opportunity to double or even triple this number.

But how can the industry realize this?

Beatty explains one of the key aspects is to make new golfers feel welcome and has a word of advice to PGA Professionals: "Start greeting your new golfer in the parking lot (...), pick up their clubs, the more you make them feel familiar and less threatened, the longer they are going to stay in this industry."

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Useful links
Jim Beatty Golf Ventures:
African American Golf Expo:
African American Golf Digest: