USGA Opens Career Opportunities Through 2024 Pathways Internship at Pinehurst
Twenty-four interns selected for third edition of U.S. Open experience

PINEHURST, N.C. (JUNE 4, 2024) – Reflecting an organizational commitment to advance more equitable and accessible opportunities for individuals interested in working in golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) has identified 24 students from a wide range of backgrounds to participate in the Pathways Internship at the 2024 U.S. Open Championship.

The immersive, 10-day educational experience will primarily be held at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club as part of the U.S. Open community engagement strategy that aims to utilize USGA resources and expertise to propel a healthier future for the game. Supported by foundational sponsor Deloitte*, interns will be exposed to various career pathways in golf through job shadowing, networking with industry leaders, and professional development sessions.

“It’s important that we continue to open opportunities for everyone to work and play in golf,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “Relationships are built and fostered on-site at championships, and the framework we’ve created with the Pathways Internship allows students to get that same opportunity, which can help to jumpstart their careers.”

The 2024 USGA Pathways interns include:

Patrick Barnes

Tennessee Technological University


MBA, Business Intelligence and Analytics

Pilar Berchot

King University



Esther Etherington

Franklin College


Elementary School Education

Kameron Burris Garofalo

Oxnard College


Business Administration

Mekhi Gibson

University of South Carolina


Sport and Entertainment Management

Taylor Harvey

Delaware State University


MA, Sports Administration

Emily Jones

University of Dayton


Early Childhood Education

Azola Martin

Morehouse College


Communication Studies /Chinese Studies

Jessica McEachin

University of North Carolina - Greensboro


Information Systems and Supply Chain Management

Evan McLurkin

University of California - Berkeley


Business Administration

Henry Oelhafen

Vanderbilt University


Human Organizational Development

Noble Parker

Southern Connecticut University


Computer Science

Nikelle Pledger

Ohio State University


Strategic Communications

Chandler Redfearn

North Carolina A&T



Maya Renteria

George Washington University



Douglas Sherriffe

California State University - Northridge



Henry Stephens IV

Duke University



Cameron Tarront-McKitt

Tennessee State University


Exercise Science

Cristian Tavarez

William Paterson University of New Jersey


Sport Management

Claudia Comas Torres

Emerson College


MA, Sports Communication

Sandhya Vaikuntam

Quinnipiac University


Applied Business/ Sports Studies

Savita Wilson

Columbia University


MS, Sport Management

Avery Wright

Arizona State University


Sport Business and Marketing

Ashley Yen

Yale University


Data Science and Statistics

Launched as the Lee Elder Internship in 2022, the program will enter its third year with more than 40 percent of past participants now holding full-time positions in golf administration or golf-connected businesses, including the USGA, PGA Tour, Allied Golf Associations, MNML Golf, Deloitte and others. Additionally, four alumni will serve as peer leaders at Pinehurst.

“My time as an intern at The Country Club confirmed that my passion for golf was not limited to the fairways or greens,” said Skylar Graham, 2022 program alumna and current associate with Excel Sports Management’s golf division, who will act as a peer leader. “The wonderful connections I made with leaders across various sectors in the golf industry opened my eyes to endless professional opportunities that I did not know existed. The Pathways Internship empowered my vision for a career beyond the course and I am excited to help foster this experience for the new class of interns.” 

Each participant in this year’s program hails from a different accredited four-year educational institution, demonstrating the USGA’s focus on broadening the funnel of career entry points. While roughly half of the interns have little to no experience in golf, five are First Tee alumni, three are collegiate golfers, three are USGA Boatwright Interns and one is an Evans Scholar.

As part of the process, students had the opportunity to share their personal views on why diversity and inclusion in sports are important to them, and how they aim to propel those values forward. Among this year’s class there are founders of nonprofits and community programs, five students who represent Historically Black Colleges and Universities, an international student whose collegiate golf career opened a pathway for her to the United States, advocates for the disabled, and an entrepreneur who launched an apparel brand focused on connecting underrepresented athletes of faith.

In addition to foundational sponsor Deloitte, the program is supported by USGA partners Ally Financial, American Express, Cisco, Lexus, Peter Millar, Sentry Insurance and Rolex, as well as our broadcast partner, NBC Sports. This year’s internship will allow students to experience a broad range of golf championship functions, including broadcasting, communications, corporate hospitality, merchandising, course setup and operations. Based on their interests, interns will be placed in one of three career groups – Business of the Game, Storytellers of the Game, or Architects of the Game – to partake in on-the-job learning experiences.

This year’s class will also benefit from the recent opening of the USGA’s Golf House Pinehurst. With 70 USGA team members based in Pinehurst, interns will have the opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the many functions and roles that exist within the USGA beyond the championship stage – from aerodynamics to engineering, technical innovation, applied science and research to museum curation, grant administration and sports governance.  

Additional programming will be held throughout North Carolina’s Moore County and the Raleigh-Durham area, including a day spent focused on growing their professional development skills with Deloitte practitioners while also learning more about Deloitte’s role as a trusted advisor to the USGA.  Programming will provide students with opportunities to better understand their own working styles, learn how to embrace their authentic selves in the workplace and explore how trends in business and technology play out in the sports industry. Interns will also work with Deloitte practitioners as they prepare for the Pathways case competition – which will be held Saturday, June 15, in front of a forum of USGA leaders.

Along with 119 championship interns and Greenkeeper Apprenticeship Program students, the Pathways interns are among many directly benefiting from enrichment and learning opportunities on-site during the U.S. Open. The USGA annually funds more than 270 paid internships across the country, including nearly 200 interns who are taking part in this year’s P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program through the USGA’s network of 57 Allied Golf Associations.

About the USGA

The USGA is a mission-based golf organization whose purpose is to unify the golf community through handicapping and grassroots programs; to showcase the game’s best talent through the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally and 13 other national championships and our museum; to provide unbiased global governance with The R&A through the playing, equipment and Amateur Status rules; and to advance issues important to golf’s future, with a focus on driving sustainability, accessibility and inclusion. As a nonprofit association, our work and our team are driven to act for the good of the game. For more, visit

For additional information: Kimberly Miller; 302-547-9865

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