Find a career path from Mexico to the USA

by | Oct 2, 2021 | PGA

For many people in Michoacán, a state in central Mexico just off the Pacific coast, playing golf is not a luxury.

Certain factors – be it economic, social or, more recently, the pandemic – make golf difficult to access in some areas. Anyone who can play in Michoacán can count themselves lucky.

Alejandra Sanchez is one of them.

The game is a little more common in Morelia, the state capital. Sanchez grew up around the square because her family valued what she brought them. The elders made sacrifices so that it could become a family activity. Sanchez’s grandfather and father were members of the nine-hole Club de Golf Campestre Morelia and taught Sanchez the game since she was not much older than a toddler.

As her love for the game grew, so did her ambition to play it more competitively. So Sanchez moved to the United States to play college golf at Bethune-Cookman and St. John’s, New York.

“There aren’t many college-level schools that offer scholarships or have golf teams in Mexico,” Sanchez said. “So if I wanted to keep playing I had to come to the US.”

She is now 25 and her life has paralleled her love for the game. And during National Hispanic Heritage Month, she looks forward to showing other Latinas that they have their place in golf.

“It’s special to me and we want everyone to welcome the game,” said Sanchez, who also lived in Cancun, Mexico with her family. “Since I come from Mexico, I can be a role model.”

Earlier this year, Sanchez interned with the American Junior Golf Association. And in the past few weeks, thanks to PGA JobMatch, she did an internship at the 43rd Ryder Cup.

PGA JobMatch helped Sanchez earn her Ryder Cup internship, where she worked in merchandising, and is designed to help the golf industry better reflect the Constitution of America by promoting short-term employment opportunities for those underrepresented who have experience in the PGA championships Want to collect golf industry. Given this vision, Sanchez was an ideal candidate.

PGA WORKS is a related initiative that aims to diversify the golf industry workforce through scholarships, fellowships, career exploration events and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship (PWCC) to inspire and attract talent from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue employment positions in the follow the entire golf industry.

“[PGA WORKS] I used to send emails for vacancies or internships so I applied through JobMatch, ”said Sanchez. “I just followed up and asked for updates and when I found out I got it I was very excited.”

In November, Sanchez will take up a full-time position as Assistant Professional and Tournament Coordinator at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

Sanchez began her college golf career at Bethune-Cookman, playing for PGA member Scooter Clark, who is now the director of the PWCC. Her teams there won consecutive PWCC championships, and she later moved to St. John’s and attended the event as an individual.

Her sisters Andrea and Martha followed their way from Mexico to the USA with golf scholarships. Both played at TPC Sawgrass at PWCC 2021, and Alejandra was there too, watching and encouraging them.

During her four years at the championship, Sanchez attended the event’s career expo, which exposed her to more of the golf world than just competition. These events opened up new perspectives for Sanchez, who began to see the game as part of their long-term future.

“I really enjoyed these tournaments because you met people from the golf industry,” said Sanchez. “I was able to network with people from the PGA of America and the AJGA and other golf companies. … It really helped me advance my career. “

Her ultimate goal is to become the tournament director for a major golf championship, which would be a significant and historic milestone for a Latina woman. She is also committed to helping other Mexicans pursue careers in the game.

“I feel like the sport is growing around the world and you want to see more people and more cultures, and the PGA of America and PGA WORKS are doing a great job,” said Sanchez. “I am a role model to my sisters and have helped other people from Mexico who are interested in playing the game at the college level.”