Deaf golfer Langston Frazier was born with hearing loss in both ears. Now he’s one of the newest members of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA).
Langston Frazier golfing story began between the ages of nine and 10, when he was introduced to an initiative called First Tee, in Bowie, Maryland. First Tee turned out to be a program that taught all-important life skills alongside the game of golf.
It was through later enrolling in the PGA Golf Management University Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) that things went from strength to strength. His idea was to learn to become a teacher at the same time as improving and moving forward with his love of golf. During his course time, he racked up enough hours on the green to become a PGA assistant golf professional at the University of Maryland golf course. Frazier is currently pursuing a degree there in broadcast journalism.
On the 5th of June, Frazier excitedly announced on his Facebook page that he was elected to PGA membership. “Let me put this in context,” he wrote. “There are nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals worldwide and less than 170 Black PGA Professionals, and I’m one of them. Glad to be officiallybe recognized as an ‘Expert in the Game and Business of Golf.'”
“There are nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals worldwide and less than 170 Black PGA Professionals, and I’m one of them.”
Frazier also wrote on LinkedIn that “this membership is much more than an ID number, membership card, a lapel pin, and a fancy piece of paper. It’s a gateway to so much more. It shows people, especially little kids that look like me, that, ‘Hey if he can do it, I can do it too!’”
The PGA has said its making efforts to increase African American membership as well as membership in other underrepresented groups. This includes 18 accredited PGA Golf Management University Programs like the one at UMES and the funding of 10 annual $8,000 scholarships for diverse students going through these programs. It also includes diverse mentorship opportunities and workforce outreach.
Both Frazier and The PGA are making inroads into the once hallowed inclusive white able-bodied golfing circuit. The 24-year-old player said in a PGA article: ”It starts with the Members. It’ll take some time, and it’ll mean shaking things up and making some people feel uncomfortable, which is what other minority Members have felt for years. Being a Black Member is not something I take lightly. It’s not something I take for granted. People ask what’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s this and going to UMES. Because if people don’t feel included in this game, then what are we doing?”
Frazier started a podcast two years ago on the subject of golf. This occasional show allows him to talk about the game as well as introduce other players to his audience. He has written articles for Golf Digest and has also had an internship at The Golf Channel. Being a PGA Pro is a powerful step on his sporting journey.
The PGA quoted Frazier as saying, “When people come into the pro shop, they probably don’t expect to see me, and sometimes I can see they’re a little surprised,” Frazier said. “They ask if I’m an [undergrad] student, and I say, ‘No. I’m actually a golf pro.’ Then they see the PGA behind my name, and they know I’m the real deal, especially for young people. And that’s something people like me couldn’t do before. So, this is one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had.”
Phonak hEARo, Phil is an actor, writer and journalist who writes in the deaf WellBeing and Lifestyle areas. He lives on the beautiful North Yorkshire coast with his wife Raine and their three children. Phil was diagnosed in 2016 and has moderate to severe Sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and constant tinnitus. He uses Phonak silver Nathos Auto M hearing aids. Member DANC (Disabled Artists Networking Community)
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