Reflecting America: Troon’s New Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Kendal Murphy, Talked Recently With TROON Magazine’s Tom Mackin About His Job And His Top Priorities

Kendall Murphy - Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

TROON MAGAZINE: How do you describe your role at Troon?

Murphy: I’m here to make sure the company and the industry of golf look more like the America we see today. It’s a very diverse, melting pot of a country, and the game of golf should reflect that.

What are your top priorities right now?

First is to listen and learn from Troon employees and understand the culture and what is needed. Then we can implement programs and processes to make necessary changes. It’s about figuring out what company leaders can do to make our team members happy and satisfied. Ultimately that’s what inclusion is all about; making sure people feel included in the process and the culture.

Troon manages courses in 30 countries that span very different cultures. Is that a challenge or an opportunity for the work you will be doing?

It will definitely be challenging, but there is no blanket answer when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Because we are a global hospitality company, we are forced now to go deeper than the surface level. What happens in Dubai is different than what happens in Europe or the United States.

Troon now has a broad range of subsidiary companies; how will that affect your work?

We can learn from what the companies we now partner with have done or are doing in this field. For example, Indigo Sports has a lot of municipal golf courses in inner city areas. It’s important to see what worked and didn’t work for them when it comes to diversity and inclusion. We don’t have to waste valuable time going down a path that’s already been tried and didn’t work.

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You’ve worked in the golf industry since 2005. How much has changed when it comes to diversity over that time?

It’s getting better in terms of being inclusive, but we’re not there yet. We have to continue to do better. If we don’t have a diverse base of candidates to work in the business, or who will play the game, then in a few years it will be slim pickings to find employees for Troon and other golf companies as well as to find diverse golfers.

Who introduced you to golf?

I had an African-American neighbor while growing up named Mr. Willie Cooper. He took me to Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, Calif., when I was 10. I loved the game right away.

What was your first job in the golf industry?

Golf shop attendant at the Las Vegas Country Club in 2005, my sophomore year at UNLV. I had zero experience in the business. I was trained up and able to parlay that into a successful career.

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