Industry News

NBC Sports’ ‘Beyond The Fairway’ hosts Doug Smith and Will Lowery join GolfNow to celebrate social change during Black History Month

NBC Sports Next’s monthlong social media initiative, The Next Round, showcases people leading change and creating opportunities for more diversity in the game of golf

Click Here to Watch the First Installment of The Next Round on Instagram

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2022) – Doug Smith and Will Lowery, hosts of NBC Sports’ Beyond the Fairway podcast, are partnering with leading tee-time provider GolfNow to celebrate Black History Month through social storytelling throughout February.

The NBC Sports Next initiative, titled The Next Round,” can be found on Instagram – watch the first post here – with additional exposure on Twitter and Facebook. The campaign features video conversations throughout the month with change-makers who are making an impact across the golf industry.

Smith and Lowery are both professional golfers who welcome celebrities, athletes and golf influencers to their weekly NBC Sports podcast, which examines golf from a cultural perspective. Lowery, a two-time cast member on the popular GOLF Channel reality series, Big Break, competes regularly on the mini-circuit and advocates for minorities through production and content creation in the entertainment space. Smith was the first African American to play golf at the University of Louisville and won the 2005 PGA National Minority Collegiate Championship during his time as a Cardinal.

“People have to see themselves represented if they are going to feel welcome in any space, including the golf course,” said Smith. “We want to put the spotlight on a few people who are helping to make golf more diverse and accessible but haven’t always had the platform to share their insight.”

“Our goal for this campaign is to highlight culture, education and opportunity,” said Lowery. “You can’t be what you don’t see, and we want to recognize those people who have a passion for our game and pay homage to the positive changes they’ve made.”

The GolfNow social media campaign featurea clips of video discussions between Smith and Lowery and golf industry professionals making a difference, including:

  • Steven Outlaw, Director of Golf at Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club, who started his unlikely journey in golf from his hometown of East Chicago, Ind., and later gave a speech at the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001 that helped launch The First Tee Scholars Program. He has seen firsthand through The First Tee program the impact that golf can have on an individual and how it can change lives.
  • Rachel Melendez-Mabee, an expert in multi-cultural marketing and program specialist for PGA Works, a strategic initiative designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce.
  • Jamie Taylor, an entrepreneurial golf instructor who launched JT Mobile Training in 2018 and founded the Black Golf Directory, which helps golfers find African American golf professionals, amateurs, juniors and businesses.

The Next Round is part of Better Together, an NBC Sports Next initiative that strengthens communities and culture through focused programs promoting inclusion and equity through education, resources and community impact. NBC Sports Next also is helping to generate funds throughout February for the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association (OMYGA) through its TeeOff tee-time booking platform and round-up technology, which generated more than $1 million for charity in 2021.

“A part of Better Together’s mission is to highlight and support educational awareness opportunities surrounding racial disparities in the golf industry,” said Jerramy Hainline, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Golf, NBC Sports Next. “The Next Round is exactly the type of initiative we want to bring attention to – to help bring about the social and economic change that will impact the landscape of golf.”

About NBC Sports Next
NBC Sports Next is a subdivision of NBC Sports and home to all NBCUniversal digital applications in sports and technology within its three groups: Youth & Recreational Sports, Golf, and Betting & Gaming. NBC Sports Next, known for its sports technology product innovation, equips more than 30 million players, coaches, athletes, sports administrators and fans in 40 countries with more than 25 sports solution products, including SportsEngine, a youth sports club, league and team management platform; TeamUnify, swim team management services; GoMotion, sports and fitness business software solutions; GolfNow, the leading online tee time marketplace and provider of golf course operations technology and services; GolfPass the ultimate golf membership that connects golfers to exclusive content, tee time credits, coaching, tips and other benefits; and NBC Sports EDGE (formerly Rotoworld), a leading platform for fantasy sports information and betting-focused tools. NBC Sports Next is fueled by its mission to innovate, create larger-than-life events and connect with sports fans through technology to provide the ultimate in immersive experiences. 

-NBC Sports Next-

Media Contact:
Dan Higgins
NBC Sports Next