The Why Behind The Brand
There was a particular experience back in high school that changed the way I thought about the game and myself forever.
My mom and I had attended an even at TPC sawgrass for the First Tee. Most likely for some promo around The Players Championship week.
The home office is located in St. Augustine so our chapter was and still is featured in a lot of the First Tee content seen on t.v.
Growing up I had a lot of hair so I frequently wore braids and a ponytail. On this particular day though, I decided to just let it be free.
On the way home, my mom mentioned that someone made a comment to her about my hair. She told me they said "Are you ever going to have him cut it?".
All we pretty much heard was "Are you ever going to have him cut it? because it doesn't look all that great and he is not going to make it very far if he doesn't."
My mom told me that she lit them up as politely as she could with respect for the setting. I know how hard it must have been to keep the Myrtle Avenue buried deep inside of her.
I know she was offended. I sure was.
She told them that my hair is not a reflection of my character and who I am as person. Not to mention my ability on the golf course.
And she was right. Thats true for everyone.
At the time I couldn't tell If I was being racially profiled for the type of hair I have or the hair itself. Especially playing this game.
I had never experience that before. Which sparked the rebellion that came after.
I began doing everything I could to show the golf world who I am. I rocked my braids, played in vans, flipped my snap back to the back, wore crazy socks, wore face paint, and kicked ass.
Whatever I could think of, I did it.
There was one year that I played in the Billy Dickey Invitational, hosted by the Golf Club of Atlanta, where I finished 4th by one shot.
I'll never forget after the final round when a player named Joe Hooks told me I was the first person to go low in a snapback and some vans haha.
I wore a Hollister polo, a vintage FSU snapback, some elite socks, and vans. Untied I might add.
It was from this day forward I began to ask questions to challenge the game.
Who gets to make the rules on what looks good and what doesn't? Why do I have to tuck my shirt in? Why do you have to wear a polo? Why do the pros have to wear pants?
Tradition, that's why. And I want to change that.
By provoking creative expression in a space that has suffered from its absence for a long time.
*Kelly Golf Klub is a golf and lifestyle brand dedicated to helping golfers express their eccentric style on and off the course. Join a growing movement of untraditional golfers HERE.