ABOVE: Maulana, 40, was named General Manager at Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas. (Photos by Jared Gilmore)
Maulana Dotch went from learning how to play the game of golf at an early age from her father, using clubs the forced her to learn to play from her unnatural side, to becoming the first African American woman PGA Member to serve as a General Manager of a golf facility.
Maulana, 40, was named General Manager at Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston. She began her role on January 1.
“The PGA of America is proud of Maulana Dotch for earning this prestigious leadership position in golf management, while achieving another impressive milestone in her successful career,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “As a groundbreaking PGA Member, Maulana serves as a role model for women and girls and a source of inspiration for all who aspire to become PGA Members, as well as pursue careers throughout the golf industry.”
Prior to coming to Hermann Park Golf Course, Maulana spent the past 12 years at Cedar Crest Golf Course in Dallas, where she served as PGA Head Professional since 2014.
“Becoming General Manager at Hermann Park Golf Course is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication in learning all facets of the golf business and adopting best practices and leadership principles from PGA Professionals throughout the industry,” said Maulana. “Based on my career journey, I’m honored to continually give back and provide as much advice and guidance as possible to my fellow PGA Members, as well as girls and boys from diverse backgrounds looking to pursue a career in golf.”
Maulana has come a long way on her journey to be able to handle this role and has truly become a history making individual in the area of golf.
Maulana was taught the game of golf by her father, Emmanuel Dotch, on a high school field in Irving, Texas. Because she was left-handed and they could find any left-handed clubs, her father had to take his own right-handed clubs and cut them down so that she could effectively learn how to play the game, meaning she had to learn how to play from her unnatural side.
Maulana went on to become an accomplished golfer. She started off competing on the Irving High School men’s golf team and eventually earned a golf scholarship to attend Bethune-Cookman University, which is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While at Bethune-Cookman, her team won the PGA Minority Collegiate Championship (now known as the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship), an event considered to be the most culturally significant championship in collegiate golf, in each of her four seasons. Maulana also captured the Individual Women’s Division Championship during her senior year. It was also there that she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Maulana had always been a huge fan of her golf inspiration, Renee Powell, who is a golf trailblazer and who has the distinction of being the first African American female PGA Hall of Fame Member. Because she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her inspiration, Maulana decided to invest the time in learning the ropes relative to all aspects of golf, eventually allowing her to earn her PGA Membership and become a PGA Head Golf Professional.
“The mentorship I’ve received from Renee Powell, as well as so many other great leaders at the PGA and throughout the industry, has helped my career immensely,” states Maulana.
Maulana earned her PGA Membership in 2010, where at the time she was the second-ever African American woman to become a PGA Member. This is significant, because just as she was inspired by Renee Powell, she has inspired other Black women to earn their PGA Membership.
There is still hope for improvement, however, because there are only eight African American women who have earned their PGA Membership (Maulana Dotch, Renee Powell, Sherri Pla, Ashley Nicks, Mackenzie Mack, Jasmin Cunningham, Tiana Jones and Reina Kearns) – a small number compared to the 173 African American PGA Professionals that the PGA has altogether.
In 2018, Maulana was selected for PGA LEAD, the Association’s leadership development program created to identify, mentor and progress PGA Members from diverse backgrounds into volunteer leadership positions in the Association.
Maulana has made her 78-year-old father, Emmanuel Dotch, extremely proud of the investment he made and the time he spent teaching his daughter the game he truly loved.
You see, Emmanuel grew up during the height of the Civil Rights movement in Mobile, Alabama, where he was denied the opportunity to have full access to play the game he truly loved or play on a golf course, because of racism and the Jim Crow laws that were prevalent in the South at that time. He was forced to become a caddy, but is now living vicariously through his daughter. Fast forward over 50 years later, and not only has Emmanuel gotten to seen his daughter receive her PGA Membership card and become a General Manager at a golf facility, he also got to visit her new place of employment and play her in a round of golf on the course and at the golf facility that she now calls her work home every day.
“My dad made sure I practiced every day and it didn’t matter what was going on,” said Maulana. “I can recall going to Six Flags with my family when I was younger and before we went inside the amusement park, my dad took out my golf clubs and made me practice on my chipping to make sure I got my practice in for the day. That is how serious he was in making sure I learned the game of golf. Now, he gets to see how all his time, love and effort has paid off.”
Maulana is a member of the Bethune-Cookman University Athletics Hall of Fame and the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame, and is committed to sharing her experiences to promote inclusion and diversity in the game, while inspiring the next generation of golfers from diverse backgrounds to embrace opportunities in the golf industry.
“I want Black women, especially Black girls, to just play the game,” said Maulana. “I have met so many people and have enhanced my life because of the game of golf. There are so many relationships you can build from playing the game of golf. Don’t run away from the game, embrace it.”
Maulana Dotch serves as an inspiration for all Black women and young Black girls all across the country and should be celebrated every day, especially during Women’s History Month.
So if you love the game of golf and just want to play a round, or if you want to actually learn how to play the game, or if you simply want to stop by and congratulate this history making Black woman, go ahead and stop by Hermann Park Golf Course to meet Maulana and say hello.