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The Southern California Golf Association appointed desert native Nikki Gatch as their President. Gatch becomes the first woman to hold the title of president for the SCGA, an organization that has been around for over 100 years.
“I’m incredibly lucky,” says the Palm Desert high school alumni. “I’m blessed that I get to have a career that I do something that I love and I’m passionate about and that I’ve found an opportunity to give back, in a volunteer capacity and you know, it’s like, pinch me right.”
Gatch grew up around golf. After playing with the Aztecs’ boys golf team in high school, she went on to play golf in college at Oklahoma State and later became a PGA professional. Once her playing career ended, Gatch decided that she still wanted golf to be a part of her life.
“I really just gravitated towards what I knew and loved, and that was the game. I really kind of found what my passion was in the industry and that was on the admin side. As a kid through high school, I worked out at PGA West on weekends and during the summer. When I graduated, had my first what I’ll call ‘a real job’ that was at Mission Hills Country Club. Any ties to the desert are special to me.”
The SCGA aids amateur golfers in development, whether you want to break into the sport or just looking to have some fun. Gatch is also the first PGA member to be on the board of the SCGA. Her goal is to make the sport of golf accessible to everyone.
“A goal that I have for this year is to do what’s in the best interests of golf period. For the game and for the communities that we serve.”
Gatch says the SCGA has been on a mission since 2014 to diversify its leadership. The best person for the job will be chosen, making Nikki Gatch the right one to be president of the SCGA.
“Diversity can mean a lot of things, so we want to make sure that as many communities as possible are represented on the board. We want our game to start looking more like the world we live in and the communities that we live in. Golf is a wonderful sport and it’s something for everyone and it’s important for us to recognize that and not just put everyone in the same box.”