Congressional staffers are trying whatever they can to bring people together in this tough political climate, and Lewis Myers thinks the golf course might be a place to do that.
“The golf ball doesn’t really recognize Republican or Democrat, so we should be able to come together and play the game we love,” said the six-year Capitol Hill veteran, who is the scheduler for California Democratic Rep. Norma J. Torres.
Myers, 33, launched the Congressional Golf Association this month. Instead of “president,” he serves as the association’s “commissioner,” to borrow from golfspeak.
From playing the game for years, Myers knows that golf can be a great networking activity.
“Obviously, on Capitol Hill, it never hurts to have relationships, and in this era of partisanship, I think this is a great way to kind of break that stalemate … and bring offices together,” he said.
Myers, who started playing golf in 1998, calls himself a “Tiger Baby,” a nod to all-time great Tiger Woods.
“I was inspired when he won the ’97 Masters. I was like ‘Wow, that’s a person of color who I’ve never seen before. What is this game of golf?’” recalled Myers, a onetime president of the Congressional Black Associates.
He hopes the association gives staffers the opportunity to bring golf to more people of color in the D.C. community, noting that the Langston Golf Course and Driving Range is a mile and a half from Capitol Hill in Northeast Washington.
“It’s in an impoverished area of D.C., and the fact is, kids in and around the area don’t ever go to the golf course because there’s so many barriers to entry when it comes to the game of golf,” Myers said. “Golf is a very expensive sport, and that’s one of the reasons why people of color and people of certain geographical locations don’t have access to the game.”
He wants the association to give D.C. children equipment and work with organizations like The First Tee, a youth development organization that teaches golf.
“If CGA can somehow minimize that barrier to entry, I think we’ve done a good job,” he said.
Myers is recruiting fellow staffers to join. At the start, he just hopes to have enough people to casually go out on the course together.
And newbies are welcome too. The association can help them learn the game, and they’d be able to network too.
“There’s an introductory mechanism associated with the organization, because what I found over time is golf can be intimidating for some people who haven’t played before,” Myers said. “We can have different divisions for people to feel comfortable coming in.”
Email Lewis.Myers@mail.house.gov if you’re interested in joining.
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