By Brigette White, Special to the AFRO, [email protected]
Out of a love for golf and her own personal desire to play daily, Wellesley, Massachusetts native Tari Cash created CitySwing, a convenient place in Washington, D.C. to practice.
“I love living in this city and the energy that I receive from downtown Washington, D.C. One Friday afternoon I finished work early and wanted to practice my golf swing. Beltway traffic was so bad it overwhelmed my desire to drive anywhere, including the golf course. I needed a space to play and I learned about indoor golfing experiences,” she told the AFRO.
Cash graduated from Harvard University attaining her Masters Degree in Business and Administration. Cash’s interest in golf started when she was in High school.
“My father joined a Country Club when I was in high school. One Father’s Day, my mother insisted that she, my brother and I take two lessons and then surprise my Dad on Father’s Day with a family round of golf,” said Cash.
Cash said the game moved slowly and that she didn’t fall in love with golf until about 2014 when she joined the Country club at Woodmore in Maryland.
“Golf is a game of strategy, skill and I’m constantly competing against and pushing myself to get better. As an adult, there are fewer activities that I can play with Men and Women that bring out my competitive and strategic side. I love the ability to dedicate myself to golf, and then practice, and see the progression. The feeling of advancement is addictive.”
Cash considers CitySwing unlike any other golfing experience as it creates an environment that is welcoming to any age, race, gender, non-gender, creed and skill level without having to be a member of a club.
“There are historical reasons why women and African Americans don’t play golf at the same rate as others. First and foremost, several of the most prestigious golf clubs in the Country excluded African Americans until the 1990s. Today, there are still Clubs local to the DMV that exclude women. If you’re not included in ’the club‘ you’re automatically excluded from reaping the professional benefits.”
Just two months ago a group of African American women say the Grandview Golf course in York County, Pennsylvania called the police on them for playing the game too slow. Eventually the women left and no charges were filed.
“This incident was infuriating, heartbreaking and very, very motivating. I want more women and people of color to play golf.”
Cash joked that she would play golf everyday if she could and wants to introduce her passion for the game to those who might have first been turned off by the sport.
“I want all of US to feel invited, included, welcomed, and confident on the golf course. I believe it’s a great game and I want people to love it as much as I do. There are professional benefits to playing and feeling comfortable around the game because business is done on golf courses. Deals are made, networking relationships are formed and promotions are handed out. I firmly believe you can’t win, if you are not in the game, Cash said.
At the grand pop-up opening of CitySwing on July 19, members of the community had the opportunity to try a round of indoor golfing.
“The technology was amazing and easy to use. I literally felt connected to an actual golf course. Virtual reality golf will level the playing field for kids usually not exposed to this fun critical thinking sport,” patron Nasir Qadree to the AFRO.