It feels like fate played a role in bringing Bonnie Bunch Glover to golf 20 years ago. “I had a set of old clubs in my garage. Someone gave them to me, but I had no place to play and didn’t even know how,” she said. Then a colleague heard about the Lady Drivers, a group of Black women golfers in Jackson, Mississippi.
Glover dusted off her hand-me-down clubs and attended a beginners clinic hosted by the group. “I was voted most likely to succeed at the clinic, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” she joked.
For the last few years, Glover has been volunteering full-time with First Tee – Central Mississippi.
“Sportsmanship is one of the things I enjoy teaching the kids,” she said. “Golf will make them better people later in life. They’re learning to share, patience – golf promotes a lot of things,” she said.
With support from Morgan Stanley’s Eagles for Impact program, Glover attended a Level 2 Coach Training in New Orleans last year. “Getting that formal training just motivates you. You know you’re getting something solid to take forward,” she said.
“Bonnie is eager to help our chapter in any way she can. She loves working in our girls’ classes, and she’s a great person to recruit new volunteers and coaches,” said Margo Coleman, executive director of First Tee – Central Mississippi.
Morgan Stanley’s support will continue this year. For every eagle made during this month’s PLAYERS tournament, the firm will donate $5,000 to First Tee in support of the development and retention of diverse golf coaches, like Glover, to mentor the next generation of game changing leaders.
As a self-taught golfer, Glover said she feels more comfortable passing along her skills after attending a First Tee coach training. “I just try to tell my kids that you don’t have to be the best. You just have to do the best you can, and it will pay off,” she said.
“Coach Bonnie brings positive energy to each class. She is helpful to all of the students, taking the time to help them, no matter their level of golf,” Coleman said.
In addition to coaching, Glover helps organize an equipment drive each spring in partnership with the Jackson Women’s Golf Association. The group has provided shoes, clubs and clothes to many young golfers in Mississippi.
All her efforts aim to make golf more accessible to all kids, including those from diverse backgrounds, Glover said. “We need more minorities in the game of golf. Our kids need to see them,” she said.
Research has shown that kids learn better when they identify with their teachers. That’s why First Tee believes it’s important for our coaches to represent the communities they serve.
“We’re so grateful to Morgan Stanley for supporting this important initiative,” said First Tee CEO Greg McGlaughlin. “Coaches form the backbone of our organization, and we’re committed to bringing in and training coaches from diverse backgrounds because golf – especially with the life skills it teaches – is a game for everyone.”