Kamaiu Johnson follows up follows up Tour debut by giving Dallas juniors opportunities
Kamaiu Johnson, fresh from his PGA Tour debut at Pebble Beach, with a few other exceptions along the way, is equally excited about a new program that he could have used long ago.
Johnson is now a brand ambassador for a ClubCorp program that offers select teenagers from The First Tee junior memberships to private golf clubs. The pilot program is called ClubLife Gateway, and just over three dozen First Tee attendees in the Dallas area have participated in ClubCorp properties.
“If I could have had something like this when I was younger it would have been a long way,” said Johnson. “I’m honored that you would even think of me.”
One of the problems surrounding The First Tee in the early years was where kids would go after they grew up. Johnson speaks from experience that better golf courses are critical to the development of the game. He remembers the first good golf course he played was when he qualified for the Florida State Open.
Membership in the ClubLife Gateway program includes tee times, practice opportunities and tournaments, and club members who act as mentors for issues on and off the golf course. Teens will be selected based on personal growth and development through The First Tee along with their accomplishments on the course.
Johnson, who is black, worked his way up through the Advocates Professional Golf Association. Another APGA player, Willie Mack III, is playing on the Riviera this week under the Charlie Sifford exemption.
ClubCorp CEO David Pillsbury said he had heard Johnson speak of the need to “make golf look more like America”.
“I couldn’t agree more,” said Pillsbury. “Our members have come out enthusiastically and emphatically to volunteer to share their love for the game with these aspiring young players and empower them to take on new challenges as they pursue their goals. These are remarkable teens with remarkable stories, who deserve everything they get and more. “
New outlook: Daniel Berger switched the swing trainer to Cameron McCormick, who is based at Trinity Forest Golf Club. What he didn’t change was his swing.
“He gave me a completely different approach to the short game, to putting, just a different approach to golf in general,” said Berger. “He allowed me to be artistic. He didn’t change me in such a way that you get worse before you get better, which happens to a lot of people when they change swing teachers. “
Most critical was the short game. Berger says he took the same type of shot on the greens and McCormick told him to consider Jordan Spieth (another of his students) and Phil Mickelson and see the need to see different shots to suit the occasion to become.
Whan Hired to Head USGA: USGA announced Wednesday that it has hired former LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan as its next CEO. This makes him the eighth top manager in his 127-year history.
USGA President Stu Francis said the ruling golf association in America wants a leader who knows golf and loves the game, along with someone with a business perspective that will allow you to think about where golf is going, where golf is going, USGA and how do we best position ourselves? “
“We kept coming back to the perfect person as Mike Whan,” he said.
Whan announced in January that he would be leaving as LPGA commissioner. It was a surprising decision after a year in which the LPGA Tour was closed for almost five months with no guaranteed TV contracts and played 16 tournaments and four majors. A 34 tournament program followed that year with record prize money.
He is replacing Mike Davis, who is leaving this year to set up a golf architectural practice. Whan is expected to start his new job sometime this summer.
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