Golf as a Means for Empathy - In conversation with Rex Everett

Talking Trends
3 min readJul 4, 2023

“Investing fully in children today will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations for decades to come.” — Carol Bellamy

The healthcare disparity is not an easy problem but a necessary one to solve. One approach is to educate the youth. To instill lasting changes that we would like to see in the world, we must invest in the younger generation. By investing in our youth, we invest in our future.

Today we are in conversation with Rex Everett, a highly experienced growth leader and trusted advisor with over 40 years of experience in the healthcare field. Rex speaks about how golf can be a conduit for empathy and growth. His vision of organically bridging the gap between children of diverse backgrounds by bringing them together through golf showcases his steadfast belief in investing in our youth for a better future.

You’re an avid golfer yourself, but you also mentioned that you are passionate about using golf to create (health) equity. Talk to us about your initiative of bringing together privileged and underprivileged kids through golf and how that leads to equity.

“Growing up African American in rural North Carolina in the 60s and 70s, we didn’t have the opportunity or access to play golf. When I was 26, I was reluctantly introduced to the sport by a mentor. In response to my hesitancy, he said a couple of things: don’t ever put yourself in a position where they can leave you out. And secondly, it will open other doors you didn’t think were there.

“Over the years, my mentor’s words proved accurate, and I developed a deep reverence, passion, and love for the game. Golf teaches you many life lessons. It teaches you patience, integrity, consistency, sportsmanship, and many other life learning skills. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor that provided me access and open doors. I want to give back and do the same.

“I am currently a member of the Woodlands golf club, home to one of the best golf schools in the state. Just like other clubs, they have numerous summer youth programs. My thought was to develop a youth summer program where you match 10–15 children from our community with 10–15 children from an underserved community. Being taught golf together and the life lessons that come with it, these children from different backgrounds can come together and inevitably learn and grow from each other. From simply being together for four hours a day for the summer program, these children will be exposed to different perspectives and experiences safely and constructively where they don’t have that opportunity in day-to-day life. Being exposed to others with diverse backgrounds increases understanding and empathy; it broadens a person’s lens, which they will continue to develop as they grow into adults. They will be exposed to the general inequities of life, such as the healthcare disparity. Golf could be a conduit for empathy.

“As I watched some of the summer programs at the club, I realized that it is doable. I have meetings scheduled with the head of the training center to begin talks about funding. It’s an expensive sport, and the lessons are not cheap. However, coordinating with the club and securing funding would allow this program to exist. In this way, the playing fields are leveled; everything will be provided for all the children, so no one feels singled out. I look forward to seeing how this comes to fruition.”

Thank you for sharing, Rex.

Connect with Rex on Linkedin.

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