DURING HIS FIRST 18 YEARS as a PGA professional, Greg Fitzgerald lived in fear. Fear of being found out, fear of being judged—or worse—shunned by his fellow PGA members and the game he devoted his life to. All because he’s a gay man. On his way to becoming the head professional at The Institute, a private club in Morgan Hill, Calif., and a member of the Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA), Fitzgerald has never met another gay male golf pro who is out. The isolation he felt kept him from telling people who he was and led him to live a double life. But now those two worlds are about to intersect, and Fitzgerald is understandably a little anxious.
It’s June 25, and Fitzgerald is at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco preparing the tee gifts for the SF Pride Pro-Am, a tournament sanctioned by the PGA of America and NCPGA for the LGBTQ community and its allies during the city’s annual Pride Week. The tournament is the first of its kind. The field is full—capped at 125 players. Fitzgerald is running it, and he’s shocked at how fast the event and his life have progressed since he came out professionally last year. One of the things Fitzgerald loves most about the tournament is that each group features a PGA professional. It was an idea that came from a friend, an idea that Fitzgerald didn’t think would work.
“The golf pros were so willing to come out and play,” Fitzgerald says. “It g