Morgan Davies Makes Big Impact at Contra Costa Country Club
December 10, 2021 / by Shelley Cain
As we close the year, we’re proud to highlight one of Youth on Course’s biggest supporters, Morgan Davies. Davies is the Head Golf Professional at Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, California. Since 2013, he’s been involved with Youth on Course, and has enhanced and inspired the lives of many young people and given them a launchpad for future success, all by opening them up to the world of golf.
Davies’ early involvement. Davies speaks of how he began with Youth on Course, “In 2013, I was working at Claremont Country Club. At the time, YOC was giving urban youth access to golf. We brought kids from Oakland who were part of its pilot program to Claremont - we’d drive them through the park to the range and then hit some balls with the kids. It was a world totally different from where the kids came from. After hitting balls, we’d have snack time with fun, healthy foods they may have not otherwise had access to. We’d just sit around and talk about life. The kids really got into it. It became more and more evident that the kids really enjoyed the time talking - even more than the time spent learning to golf. Through this, we got the idea to give the kids a way to make money - by becoming caddies. The kids got very excited about the possibility, and the program took off. As we got to know the kids, we could tell which kids were really hard-working kids. They embraced the idea to try and get better at talking to adults. They loved the chance to make some money.”
But, it wasn’t going to be “easy money.” Morgan made sure the kids took responsibility for their jobs and the fiscal benefits that came with their caddying. “The kids had to open a bank account, where the caddie fees were deposited. They needed to learn how to responsibly handle their jobs and making money.”
In 2016, Davies became the Head Golf Professional at Contra Costa Country Club and was instrumental in training YOC caddies throughout Northern California. Members at the club also became increasingly curious about the caddie program and wanted to offer their participation and support. The number of loops increased and the inspiring moments between the members and caddies that happened on the course grew too. They learned from each other despite coming from different worlds and as Morgan said, “Those moments were part of the magic of the program.” Firmly committed to the mission of Youth on Course, Davies sought out involvement in other YOC programs.
Davies explains, “Basically, the interns go and visit every facet of the golf course - from food service to accounting, agronomy, the golf shop (staffing, sales & inventory), and learn how to have positive personal interactions with members. Every intern learns the importance of embracing the opportunity to ‘wow’ the members.”
Onboarding the interns and guiding them according to personal strengths and interests. Davies wants each intern’s experience to be a positive one, so he takes special care at the beginning of the internship to guide them as they learn the ropes. “As the interns move through each department in the onboarding process, we allow them to help determine their own path. Some interns enjoy front-of-the-house interaction and some prefer the detailed work of the back-of-the-house. I start the conversation by telling them they’ll work in all departments, even if for an hour so that they better understand the different opportunities of the golf industry. Then each intern helps drive their own course of work.”
As interns go through this process, Davies notices the impact the experience has on young people. In addition to teaching them about the ins and outs of the industry, Davies stresses the importance of taking personal responsibility, managing time well, and learning good fiscal skills (for themselves and the business). Davies is impressed by how kids begin to see that they can have an impact on others. “Just like the caddie program, the interns learn how they can influence others.”
Further, Davies explained that both programs drop the barrier between socioeconomic worlds between the kids and the members. “The kids learn how to relate to members and successful professionals, and as result, begin to ask themselves questions like, Why can’t I be a successful business owner too? Why can’t I get a degree? Why can’t I be head of a country club?”
Possibilities are opened up that otherwise may not have been realized as the kids learn how golf can be a passport to not only business opportunities and healthy recreation, but can also be instrumental in building relationships that last a lifetime. Davies has seen this come to fruition as his caddies form close relationships with each other, and also with the members they serve. “When a Member comes in and compliments a caddie for their poise and hustle, you just know the YOC program is succeeding in developing responsible young adults where, hopefully, golf becomes a lifetime sport.”
Spreading this message is just part of the reason Davies is a Youth on Course supporter. For Davies, it all comes down to passion - about the game itself and how golf brings people together.
Davies’ positive energy and passion for golf are contagious. Davies’ passion for the game has driven many of his caddies to become interns. It’s also spilled over into the program, and made members truly interested in helping caddies succeed. Positive energy breeds positive results.
Davies’ positive energy has not only helped grow the caddie and intern programs at Contra Costa Country Club, but it has also helped to inspire kids who needed an extra dose of encouragement and confidence to grow with the program.
Working for Morgan has been such a blast! His high energy is very contagious, and I strive to meet the same fun and professional vibe that Morgan gives off. He always helps me out when pairing me up with golfers in need of a caddie, which means a lot for me as someone who has trouble putting themselves out there. Not only that, Morgan has allowed me to work as a Youth on Course intern as well as a junior merit scholar! I recognize that these opportunities don’t come easily to most people, so I am beyond grateful to Morgan and Youth on Course for these amazing opportunities!
Morgan has taught me how to let my hair down and have fun with life! By observing how he interacts with the members of the club, I learned how to interact with others in a professional setting, especially when it comes to children. Watching him interact with the kids during the summer golf camps was really fun to see, and I learned that the best way to get a kid to listen to you is through playing and having fun with them!
- Angelica Antonio, YOC Caddie, Intern, and Scholarship Recipient
"I really enjoyed working with Morgan. He was friendly and patient with me because it was my first internship. I'm shy so it was a challenge for me, but he took the time to always cheer me on and try to make me feel comfortable. He made my first work experience an enjoyable one."
- Minnea Taylor, YOC Intern
Davies doesn’t stop with Caddies and Interns. Davies’ work to grow the game and support YOC knows no bounds. Each year, Davies donates to the YOC Auction, and he’s a strong promoter and supporter of the 100 Hole Hike, a fundraiser where YOC supporters (or “hikers”) sign up to play 100 holes of golf (walking) in one day.
According to Davies, “The 100 Hole Hike has been coming to Contra Costa Country Club since 2018. One of our Members, Mr. Dave Baker, is a huge supporter and served on the YOC Board, so the relationship was a very simple one and Club support was immediate. I participated in the 100 Hole Hike in 2019 for my first time and it was amazing! All day, players encouraged each other from across fairways. In the time since the hike the stories of the day and still vivid and create full smiles and chills of accomplishment.”
How Davies describes the 100 Hole Hike may also give insight into his philosophy on working with his caddies and interns. He says the Hike is all about getting in the zone. “The hike is an excellent opportunity to get so focused for each shot… you realize throughout the round that it’s important to pace yourself and take your time on the short shots, as those actually count the most.”
Davies’ own story illustrates this well - his road to golf was lined with many short shots, all of which affected his long game. One of those “short shots” came his freshman year of college, when he discovered that it’s sometimes necessary to make a course correction in life. Although he started college playing on a lacrosse scholarship, he soon realized the sport wasn’t for him. Luckily, Davies also found and fell in love with golf that year. With his mom’s mantra in mind, “If you’re going to do something, love what you do,” Davies continued taking shots. He pursued golf and also discovered NOLS - The National Outdoor Leadership School. His experience with NOLS taught him about teamwork and leadership and led him to the realization that he wanted to be a golf pro. Fueled by this inspiration, Davies’ path then switched to the pursuit of this goal. He caddied, pursued a career in landscape and course architecture, and then ultimately found his true passion as a head golf pro.
Inspiring youth to achieve more is what drives Davies. Davies loves the moments when he can see he’s made an impact on someone. He explains, “Early in my career, I coached high school golf. We started out with 8 players on the team and grew it to over 40. We had more people playing golf than on the football team.” While coaching, Davies taught his players to be responsible in ways that inspired his players to not only want to show up and play, but also develop as players and young adults. “I made my players responsible for knowing where practices would be held and what was expected of them. It was great to get to know them as people and see them grow in their games and personally. Just yesterday, I found out that one of my former players is now an assistant at a local golf club. He had been talking to someone I know about his golf coach inspiring him - that was me! That’s the kind of reward I love. Passing the passion along to future golfers.”
A positive attitude, passion, and expectations. It’s clear that Davies has found the magic formula to reaching his caddies and interns - a combination of solid training and education about the game, mixed with an emphasis on relationship building and a solid work ethic, and backed by pure passion for the game and belief in the intern or caddie. Seeing it all come together is why Davies is such a big supporter of Youth on Course. “Growing the game of golf while instilling life skills and core values to junior golfers is so unbelievably rewarding.”
If you’d like to find out how you can impact and inspire the lives of young people through golf, consider supporting the YOC! Discover the magic that can happen in the lives of others and yourself when you support the YOC as a course partner, donor, or participate in one of our programs.