by Ray Hayes

For young children looking to enter the sport, a typical golf club can cost anywhere between $200 to $400 USD.  For a family looking to pursue the opportunity, expenses can quickly reach thousands of dollars in the first year especially when including travel, food, clothes, and accessories like gloves, balls, and golf bags.  According to Mariah Stackhouse, African American pro golfer, these high costs have led the sport to lack diversity for the past few decades.

Stackhouse, a Stanford alumnae, is one of eight African American women to play on the LPGA tour. According to Stackhouse, organizations like the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped her achieve her goals of becoming a professional golfer through continued support and aid.  For those unaware, Rice herself was a four time All American golfer during her undergraduate career at Stanford University.

Stackhouse has made it her mission to try and help the next generation of women of color similar to how Rice helped her.  During the ANA Inspiring Women in Sports conference, Stackhouse spoke about the sport and how to change things for the better. ““If you want to compete at high junior levels, high amateur levels, you are traveling well outside your state and you have to have the funds to do so.  We have to make golf more accessible to people in communities that just don’t have the resources.”