How I See San Francisco: PGA Pro Greg Fitzgerald
Greg Fitzgerald is the head golf professional at The Institute, a private club in the South Bay's Morgan Hill. As Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Northern California Professional Golfers Association (NCPGA), Greg spearheaded the inaugural SF Pride Pro-Am tournament for the LGBTQ community and its allies, in conjunction with the city's Pride Celebration in 2019. He is currently the only out PGA member, and shares some thoughts with us on golf and San Francisco.
Please Note: The PGA Championship will be held without spectators. Members of the public will not be allowed at Harding Park, due to COVID-19. Please check with the individual businesses mentioned below before you visit them for the most up-to-date information.
What are you excited for as the 2020 PGA Championship comes to San Francisco?
The TV coverage will be so extensive that everyone around the country will see our amazing city. Since it will be one of the first big sports events on TV this summer, everyone will be watching.
What makes Harding Park a great location for the Championship?
PGA of America has been putting a lot of effort into creating an environment in golf that welcomes everyone. Utilizing a public golf course to have our biggest Championship shows that. And it is a beautiful, challenging course.
What is the San Francisco Pride Pro-Am Golf Tournament?
We started the Pride Pro-Am last year at Harding Park for two reasons. We wanted to create an event at a welcoming public golf course where the LGBTQ community could come together for a fun day and be proud and visible, and we wanted to help raise money for the SF Pride Foundation.
What do golfers need to know about the Northern California PGA Diversity and Inclusion program?
We started a couple years ago to help promote the game to everyone in different ways. Our mission is to educate our own golf pros, diversify our workforce, diversify our vendors and supply chain, and create and host diverse new events.
You're one of the few openly LGBTQ golf pros in the PGA. What has been your experience being out in the world of sports?
The world has changed in my lifetime quite a bit as far as LGBTQ public awareness and acceptance. While the sports world has been slightly slower to reach acceptance, that is changing rapidly as well. I’ve had all good experiences with colleagues thus far, and the PGA of America is very supportive.
What does San Francisco mean to you as a gay man?
Well, it’s the epicenter of our community. I didn’t get to San Francisco until I was 23, but it is where I feel like I grew up. I’ll never forget feeling like I was part of a community for the first time. I thought to myself, "I could hold hands with someone right here on the street?"
When you want to experience LGBTQ culture in San Francisco, where do you go?
The Castro, of course. However, what’s great about San Francisco is that there is LGBTQ culture everywhere. It’s just culture here, not straight culture or gay culture. There are no lines drawn.
San Francisco was recently recognized as the “Sports City of the Decade”. What’s your favorite San Francisco sports moment over the past ten years?
Do you have a favorite golf course in the Bay Area?
I’m partial to The Institute, where I'm a pro; but for public access, definitely Harding Park.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the city to recommend?
Brazenhead in the Marina. It's a local's spot, and a great find for a visitor!
You’re based in the South Bay. What's a must-do for visitors on the Peninsula when they're in town?
Drive down the coast to Half Moon Bay and stop at La Costanera in Montera for lunch or dinner.
What is one remaining item on your San Francisco bucket list?
Alcatraz. I've never been out there.