ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Sports like hockey, tennis, and, in this case, golf, have historically lacked diversity, whether due to limited access or lack of community exposure. However, there's a local young man who is determined to change that perception and make a significant impact in the golfing world.

At Braemar Country Club, 19-year-old Izaiah Stewart spends his summer days maintaining the course, cleaning clubs and ensuring the greens are in top condition. Golf is more than just a job for him — it's a passion that runs deep.

What You Need To Know

  • Izaiah Stewart, a 19-year-old college student, is determined to bring diversity to the world of golf by promoting inclusivity and encouraging individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to take up the sport

  • Inspired by a Tiger Woods documentary, Stewart chose the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for its PGA golf program, where he aims to break barriers and make a difference in the industry

  • Through his passion for golf and participation in the PGA program, Stewart aspires to build a larger, more diverse presence in the sport, inspiring others and working towards a future where golf is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background

"When everything got shut down, there was nothing else to do besides just playing golf," Stewart explains, reflecting on how the sport became an escape during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart, currently a sophomore at the historically Black college University of Maryland Eastern Shore, was inspired to choose the university due to its PGA golf program. His interest was sparked after watching a Tiger Woods documentary.

"Luckily, I would not have known about the school if it wasn't for the Tiger Woods documentary," Stewart explains. "Everybody looks up to Tiger Woods, and that's how I found out about the school PGA program."

Stewart aims to break barriers and promote diversity in the sport through the PGA golf program at his university. He wants to inspire individuals from all walks of life to take up golf and prove that anyone can excel. The program also helps students prepare for careers in golf, setting them up for success in the industry.

"Just trying to build a better, bigger name. If you can build a bigger name, more people would see that 'Oh, he's a person of color, maybe I can do it too,'" Stewart expressed.

In pursuit of his aspirations, Stewart is headed to Sacramento, California, for a golf internship. He hopes to participate in various section events alongside teaching and coaching to advance his golfing career. His ultimate dream is to play professionally and become a prominent figure in the world of golf.

The lack of diversity in professional golf is evident, with only four Black golfers currently holding PGA Tour status out of approximately 260 tour regulars, including the legendary Tiger Woods.

Izaiah Stewart aims to make a significant impact on the game of golf with his determination, drive, passion and his efforts to support programs like the PGA golf program at his university.