Stackhouse, a strong ambassador for KPMG, her hometown and the LPGA | LPGA


JOHN’S CREEK, Georgia | In the midst of one of those Georgia spring showers that alumni refer to as a chute washer, a small media group and a handful of KPMG and PGA of America representatives huddled in the knocking bays of the Atlanta Athletic Club. Performance Center to hear updates. about the upcoming PGA KPMG Women’s Championship.

PGA of America President Jim Richerson attended. KPMG’s vice president and chief operating officer has also done it, Laura Newinski. The LPGA was represented by Roberta Bowman, Director of Brand and Communications. They all spoke eloquently about the next major and announced news of KPMG and the PGA of America committing to charitable causes through the event, including the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit and the “Birdies for Books” to fight against illiteracy among children.

But these executives, with all their polite and commanding presence, openly admitted that their presentations could not hold up to what happened next.

Within minutes of Newinski’s final remarks, LPGA Tour player Mariah Stackhouse stepped out and silenced the crowd. Stackhouse has the “it” factor which is impossible to explain. To give you an example, when she was 16 she was the player representative on the board of directors of the American Junior Golf Association. At the annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Stackhouse made a presentation and immediately afterwards, AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamlin said, “The only thing I can say to follow is that one day in the future, Mariah Stackhouse will either be a successful player on the LPGA Tour or President of the United States. “

She is currently the first. The latter is not out of the question.

With lightning bolts behind her in the Georgia skies, Stackhouse shared some of her background and personal story to a captivated audience.

“I started playing golf at (age) two,” she says. “I was a daddy’s daughter and followed him wherever he went, so that meant to the golf course. But I grew up playing here in the Atlanta area, debuted on a downtown course, and grew from there.

“I have played local tours here. My dad was very intentional about the trip. He wouldn’t let me go to the next level until he felt I was the best at (current) level, so it was local, then it was a state, then it was regional, then to continue to American junior golf at last. towards the end of my junior career.

She then described how her father, Ken, an architect, and her mother, Sharon, a healthcare administrator, instilled a commitment in their children.

“When I was a young girl, my parents made me a statement that I repeated to myself in the morning every day before I went to school,” Stackhouse said. “This statement was four paragraphs long and focused on a few points. First, me being a confident young black woman, a confident person and a confident athlete. To give you an idea of ​​what that claim looked like, I’m going to share a few lines. One of my favorites is “I know I can do whatever I want. I am a very proud person with my own ideas and my own direction in life. ‘

“I think repeating this to myself in the morning every day as I grow older and still to this day is when life definitely gets tough – and it’s easy to go through times of doubt and difficult situations – that statement to me. has always provided the strength and confidence and understanding that I can see my way through any challenges that come my way. This was decisive.

Stackhouse spoke at length about her connection to Atlanta, where she still lives, and her excitement that her sponsor, KPMG, and the PGA of America, in coordination with the LPGA, are bringing women’s major championship golf to the club. local Bobby Jones. and Alexa Stirling.

“I think it’s been over 15 years since the LPGA has been in Atlanta and anyone here who has played golf and is familiar with golf in the state of Georgia, I think there are few other states that have. a stronger collection of juniors, amateurs. , and people who love and are huge fans of the game, ”she said. “I think it’s going to be an incredible opportunity for us as women to play here. I think we’re going to have incredible fan engagement, and this course is just supreme. It will be a great week of golf. “

It should be noted that at the moment, Stackhouse is the only black player on the LPGA Tour. But anyone who spends a few minutes with her only sees the content of her character.

“It honestly inspires me to understand that I am an inspiration to a lot of young black golfers who play the game,” she said. “I think I’ve had the opportunity to see those numbers increase, especially with junior and college golf right now. And I think I can witness that a little bit because of the way social media has given to many platforms of people.

“But I see a lot of young girls who remind me of when I was little, playing and playing well, I think in greater numbers than when I played junior golf.

“The game is really growing and I’m excited to be able to continue to provide some visibility with other players on the LPGA and Symetra Tours. And I’ll do whatever I can to keep raising the young women to come. I am delighted for them to make their way to college and to be here as well.

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