Tuesday

Tajma Brown - Multifaceted, Mid-Atlantic PGA Works Fellow



Observing Tajma Brown on a golf course, you might think she'd grown up with the game. Whether she's manning a busy tournament registration desk or updating a scoreboard with her distinctively delicate calligraphy, she looks quite at home on the links. Until a couple of years ago though, golf wasn't even on her radar.

In fact, growing up in Wilmington, DE Tajma Brown was a voracious reader, and by the time she reached high school, a three-sport athlete.  Golf, needless to say, was not one of the three.



Tajma's sports were track & field, cheerleading, and basketball. When in her junior year, Tajma had the opportunity to become manager of the boy's varsity and JV basketball teams. She took it, and that's where her trajectory changed. She quickly realized that the management side of sports was where she wanted to be. So she started looking for schools that had great sports management programs and ultimately decided on Hampton University.  There she acquired her Bachelor's degree, and a wealth of pertinent experience, moving on to West Virginia University for her Masters. Along the way, there were sports marketing internships and formative stints with the MBA, MILB and Hampton University's division I athletics department. This wealth of experience led to Tajma becoming the first PGA Works fellow, and as she told me, "It's been kind of great."


The PGA Works fellowship program places college graduates from diverse backgrounds into a PGA Section to gain experience in all facets of the golf industry. Tajma is with the Middle Atlantic section, and when I caught up with her last week, she was in full  PGA Jr. League mode; running tournament registration, contacting courses to ensure that everything is good-to-go for the tournaments and preparing to be on-course to manage things at each event.

In the offseason there's also plenty to do, Tajma told me. That's when it's all about preparing schedule upcoming season's schedule by calling courses to book competition dates. I also schedule and update our social media accounts, and work on foundation fundraising. I use special software to design and execute our promotional posters and flyers.  I've really built my skill set since I've been here. It's been total immersion, which is great."


I asked Tajma about some of the misconceptions she had regarding golf prior to beginning her fellowship. There were the classics, "The game seemed slow and boring... and not particularly difficult." that perception quickly changed with her immersion in the world of junior golf competition, and Tajma now clearly sees the game's excitement and emotion and acknowledges, "It's not nearly as easy as it looks."  

Then there was this, "As a kid, I really didn't think golf was accessible for me, but I've learned that with the programs that exist today, it actually is accessible... for almost any kid who's interested in playing.  PGA Jr. League, First Tee, Drive Chip and Putt.  These programs and others like them offer all kids the opportunity, at a very low or no cost to learn the game and play it in a fun and empowering setting.  The problem is that kids and parents don't necessarily know about these things and I see it as part of my mission to spread and communicate the accessibility of golf to kids of varying backgrounds, who just haven't thought about it. People come up to me all the time and ask me about my job. They ask how I got it and how I ended up managing a tournament when I don't even (yet) play golf and I'm more than excited to tell the story of my studies at Hampton and my trajectory into the PGA Works program.  I let people know there are great opportunities in golf beyond actually playing the game." 



Fun fact about Tajma: She's a published novelist.  I'm currently reading her book, "Meant To Be Broken"  a love story set in the tumultuous world of ... sports marketing.   I asked Tajma where she got her passion for reading and literacy, and she declared,  "I'm a huge book nerd and reading has always been a priority for me, growing up I used to get into trouble for reading when I was supposed to be sleeping. I'm always in search of the next book to read, I recently discovered a group of independent authors who encouraged me to write my own book. So I published my first novel in August and am now working on my second, which is due out in June." But Tajma's taken her passion for reading and literacy further than that. As she explained, "I felt a real need to share my passion for reading, so this past year I did a book drive and rounded up about 100 books from libraries and stores and brought them to a group home where kids don't always have access to books. It was so satisfying that I plan to do the drive each year from now on."

So what does the future hold for this dynamic and multifaceted young woman? As Tajma herself put it, "With the PGA Works fellowship and everything surrounding it, I've realized I'd like to help to grow this kind of program because programs like this are so important... not just in golf but in every industry... we need to make our workforce and workplaces look the way America does, that's a big goal of mine. I also hope to continue to grow and build my brand and the PGA Works fellowship is giving me a great way to do that."


I'm certain we'll be seeing more of Tajma and I look forward to following her story... in golf and beyond.  In the meantime, check out her PGA Works fellowship video.  You can even say Jack Nicklaus sent you. 



For additional information on the PGA WORKS fellowship,fellowship job opportunities and PGA REACH program, visit pgareach.org

Saturday

Mixology Meets Golf... And Your Cocktail Could Be A Winner

The RBC Heritage presented by Boeing is seeking a signature cocktail for its 50th Anniversary!


One of the PGA Tour's most enduring ... and endearing... golf tournaments, the RBC Heritage, turns 50 this year, and the countdown is underway to what promises to be a stellar celebration in Harbour Town. 

From April 8, - April 15, a plethora of events and activities will animate the environs of Harbour Town Golf Links. From the traditional opening ceremonies to the putting challenge and the "Clad in Plaid" contests, spectators will be treated to an array of interactive entertainment options

There is, however, one thing that's missing: a 50th anniversary signature cocktail ... and that's where you come in. If you consider yourself versed in mixology...  or even if you just create the occasional cocktail for friends... you're invited to submit a drink recipe, and if it's good enough, win a plethora of wonderful prizes. 

You must act fast, the contest closes on Wednesday... February 28. Deets can be found here: The 50th Annual RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing Signature Cocktail Contest.   So start mixing and Cheers to 50 Years. 


Thursday

Pantone Color Of The Year 2018 & Ultra Violet Golf Fashion




The much anticipated early December announcement pronouncement has come; Ultra Violet, a deep, blue-purple shade is Pantone's Color of the Year 2018 . 

Purple, it must be said, can be polarizing. Research from a myriad of market researchers and assorted color scientists (yes, color scientists are a thing) show that while men tend to dislike the hue, women have a clear propensity for purple. Hence we can assume there may be some disaccord along gender lines when it comes to Ultra Violet, however, early reaction has been surprisingly positive. It's been referred to as counterculture... but also as regal... both in the same blurb. That might say something about its eventual universality. 

In any case I can already testify to the fact that Ultra Violet lends itself very well to fairway fashion, and I look forward to seeing a lot of it on the links in the months to come. 


Tuesday

Girl's Golf: Learning To Play... In A Ladylike Way


According to Thomas Bendelow, a golf expert interviewed by the New York Times, women don't learn golf as easily as men. 

Women don't learn as easily, he says, because they "are not accustomed to taking regular exercise," and, he adds, "they want to play golf the way they play croquet". (yes... croquet... that's what he said.) "Women don't use their arms," he continued, "they have no use for them above the elbow. That makes it hard for them to learn golf". If this sounds a bit "off" to you... and I really hope it does... it's because it was written in 1898.

I came across it today in the archives of The New York Times. As much as I was turned off by the article's casual acceptance of the limits imposed on women, I've got to admit I was a tiny bit... charmed... by its quaint language and the picture it painted of a society far more naive and innocent than ours. 

The piece is about a group of girls taking golf lessons during winter in a gymnasium. It talks about "exciting times in which the balls are flying around the big hall in such gay fashion on these cold Winter days". (gay had only one meaning back then, and it wasn't the one most common today). 

In speaking about the small carpeted putting surfaces, the writer explains to his 19th-century readers that, "though indoor golf may not sound very attractive, with a club once in hand, a putting green has a fascination not to be withstood." 

I'd definitely recommend you read the article. It's fun and fascinating and it transports you back through history to that earlier world; a world where long irons were called "cleeks", tees were made of paper and "short skirts" fell just above the ankle.

Not that I'd ever want live in that era, but I like reading about it, and sometimes it even inspires me to act more ladylike...for a couple of minutes.

Thursday

Nine Holes & PSL - Seasonally Inspired Golf Style

Nine Holes & PSL by thegolfgirl ...featuring Daily Sports Long Sleeve Top



Though fall is already well underway, the frosty weather that normally accompanies the season is just now making its way to many parts of the country.

While some golfers have welcomed the lingering warmth, there are many of us who live for those uniquely exhilarating days when brilliant sunshine and cobalt blue skies are amplified by brisk Autumnal breezes.

Decidedly, we fall fanatics have some catching up to do and fortunately, a morning round this weekend may very well call for that quintessential Autumn golf libation, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Not only is it warm and seasonal, but coffee has also been shown to improve golf scores... in some cases.

And speaking of Pumpkin Spice, the flavoring has become such a popular fall favorite that its color palette has been featured frequently in home decor and fashion spreads.

To that end why consider it for your fall golf outfits? Artfully inspired by the popular PSL.

Monday

An Ultra-Easy, Last Minute Halloween Costume Idea

DIY Halloween costume: Gentlemen golfers of the 20's by Golf Girl Media on  Polyvore


The end of October will inevitably find some of us scrambling for creative costume ideas. Halloween, after all, has become huge. In fact, according to the National Retail Foundation, 48% of American adults will dress up for the holiday this year this year.  

A trip to the local department store, especially this late in the game, will yield little in the way of distinctive deguisement. For those seeking something with a bit of sophistication, even those specialized Halloween pop-up shops tend to come up short.  

So why not create your own original costume... one that gives a nod to golf history?  With just a few easily found items of clothing, slightly altered, you can create your own Golden Age Golfer costume. 

For guys, the required pieces are: a jacket and trousers, preferably wool and in a traditional pattern such as hounds tooth, tartan, or tweed. Extra points for a matching vest. Plus fours are... a plus... but regular wool trousers can be tucked into your socks, which, if at all possible, should be argyle. A basic oxford shirt completes the clothing requirements. Essential accessories include dark tie-up shoes, a flat cap and a narrow neck tie or bow tie. If you can round out the look with a pocket watch, an antique hickory all the better. 

I created the inspiration board above to give you a few ideas.

As for the ladies, I'll refer you to the piece I wrote last year on the topic. It's quite comprehensive and includes its own inspiration board for ideas.  


DIY Halloween costume: Lady golfers of the 20's by Golf Girl Media on Polyvore

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes For Golf Obsessed Women & Girls



(first published, October 2016)
There was a time, not long ago, when "sexy" seemed to have become a prerequisite on Halloween. 

Young ladies... and not-so-young ones... were choosing costumes consisting of little more than lingerie. The commercial Halloween costume industry had discovered that virtually any outfit could be made sexy by just paring down the clothing, while exaggerating the accessories. They took the concept well beyond it's early iterations; the French maid, the sexy nurse, the sexy pirate wench... to such unlikely subjects as the sexy goldfish and the sexy squirrel. There were even some sexy golfer costumes which we wrote about in detail several years ago. 

This year however, the whole "sexy" costume thing may not be quite so ubiquitous. The Donald Trump "scandal du jour" has focused the nation's attention on the objectification of women. Though this will probably be short-lived, the scrutiny may make sexy costumes awkward for both the wearer and the observer.  There's also the "Take Back Halloween" movement which has been encouraging female to select more "empowering" costumes this year, costumes that represent strong, successful women... figures from history and the world of sports. That brought to my mind the great lady golfers of the early 20th century; Glenna Collett, Alexa Stirling, Edith Cummings, Joyce Wethered. They were strong and their style was distinctive.
  
Channeling Glenna Collett on Halloween
The basic look is super easy look to replicate, requiring only a below the knee skirt, a white blouse with a high neckline and a cardigan or jacket. Finish with a pair of oxford or wingtip shoes and as a hat, a cloche or beret. Extra points if you can round up some old hickory sticks and/or a vintage golf bag. 

I found the pieces for the four looks above at various on-line stores

Pictured at left is my own version of the Golden Age Golfer costume from a couple of years ago, sourced entirely from our local thrift shop.  

It's a fun theme for Halloween, especially if you have a group, like we had that year. And it did feel empowering to dress like a historical golf champion. Unfortunately I didn't manage to channel any golf skills. Maybe this year.