Santos Caceres, the 2016 South Florida PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, and the Section’s Southern Chapter 2015 Horton Smith Award Recipient, 2017 Golf Professional of the Year, and 2018 Bill Strausbaugh Award Recipient, is a PGA Teaching Professional at the Rick Smith Golf Performance Center at Trump National Doral, in Miami, Florida.
Santos Caceres on the importance of bringing more diversity and inclusion to golf:
As the face of our communities change and evolve, so too should the clientele we welcome to our golf facilities and academies every day. I am privileged to serve on the PGA of America Membership Committee, a highly-diverse group of individuals possessing a common goal to bring more diversity and inclusion to the game of golf. Together, we understand the importance of engaging those untapped segments of potential golfers and appreciate the plethora of benefits golf offers the individuals involved. My focus has long been at the youth level, striving to bring kids to the game from neighborhoods and communities that have historically been shut out of the sport, as well as to young athletes who already participate in other sports. To effectively achieve these goals, I have gone to their schools and helped their physical education teachers teach the basics of grip, stance, and posture. With that foundation set, we let them swing away, promising that one swing that produces that one shot that will bring them back for more. We then address the parents, highlighting the life tools and skills that the game provides, and the relationships that are formed on the golf course every day. This outreach enables us to promote the programs we offer on site, youth camps and clinics that we keep affordable, educational, and as a priority – fun. As leaders in the community, it is important for PGA Professionals to engage on a volunteer basis; but it should not be overlooked that this community involvement can lead to added success at the business level.
Santos Caceres on the business impact of bringing more diversity and inclusion to golf:
To promote early success and fun, as well as start the kids at an elementary level, I utilize SNAG golf equipment. To communicate my message to parents, I distribute brochures and flyers when they arrive to pick up their kids. We also stuff them in the kids’ backpacks for added marketing and promotion. By engaging groups and communities that have been overlooked in the past, we are growing the game first and foremost – we are also building our business. We all know that more kids learning means more kids playing. They’re also eating at our snack bars and shopping at our golf facilities. Mom and dad will often want to learn the game to solidify the bond with their kids that golf provides. This community engagement provides endless possibilities for added play, more programs and instruction revenue for PGA instructors, and business growth across the industry. Finally, to further cement your place in the community around you, consider developing relationships that could render funds for scholarships. This not only adds to your bottom line, but offers a lifetime of benefits to young golfers who once had no idea what they were missing.
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