In November of 2021, Troon announced Kendall Murphy as the company’s first Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In this new position, Murphy is helping to lead and manage the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, while working with Troon’s DEI Council, Troon associates, as well as members and guests of Troon-affiliated facilities, to accomplish DEI goals and objectives.
We sat down with Kendall for a Q&A session to get a better understanding of his history with golf and to talk about his new position.
Q: When and where was your first time on the golf course and who were you with?
I first started playing golf when I was 10 years old in Oakland, CA at Lake Chabot Golf Course. I was with my neighbor who was an avid black golfer and he wanted me to experience this great game and I am forever grateful he did.
Q: What draws you into the game of golf?
Golf will challenge you in all aspects, from mental to physical to your competitive spirit. It forces you to focus on you as an individual and the ways you can make changes to improve. Of which, I think translates into everyday life in that we have to take accountability as individuals for how we show up every single day. The game of golf has also molded me into the man that I am today with the core principles of honor, integrity, and etiquette it instills.
Q: As a professor, what advice did you offer your students who may be interested in hospitality and/or a sports career to attract them to the golf business?
When I had opportunities to interact with students or juniors that were interested in the hospitality industry and/or careers in sports, the conversation to attract them to golf was easy. Golf is a natural transition because of the built-in hospitality foundation that is inherent within the industry. It is also an 84-billion-dollar industry with a plethora of career opportunities from golf operations to accounting to agronomy. The opportunities are endless.
Q: What motivates you to make a difference in the golf industry and as Troon’s first Director of DEI?
I am motivated to make a difference because not only is it the right thing to do but it is how we make progress for future generations. With all great things: the more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible, the more of an impact they can have. I see a future where both this great game and amazing industry can look like the melting pot that is America. Tha can only be achieved by setting the precedent of being more welcoming and inclusive, from the top to the bottom. My position at Troon gives me the opportunity to continue to grow this vision, which I am grateful for.
Q: If you could pick any three people (dead or alive) to golf with, who would they be?
Tiger Woods, Barack Obama, and Jamie Foxx
Q: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you (that you don’t mind sharing)?
Most people probably don’t know (or believe) that I am an introvert at heart.