Michael Davenport | Atlanta, GA
Former Morehouse College Golfer
Written by Malik Brown
"My dad played baseball at a young age, so playing tee ball was like a requirement for me. So I played up until whenever you could start, which was five all the way up to 12 and under, and that's when the transition happened into golf. I played golf from 12 and under, which was like middle school all the way through college.
It got to the point where I was kind of tired on my dad coaching me because it was always like What am I doing wrong, and I'm only child. So I'm like, if I'm counting on all these other guys to make plays the same way I am, I want to get the same accountability.
I kind of realized at a young age that I wanted to do something with money or with math. So when I got introduced to the game of golf, I was like this is just baseball without the ball moving, so let me get into that, and it'll work in my favor when I want to get into that business accounting field. I wasn't playing baseball and golf at the same time. It was kind of like, once travel ball ended for 12 and under, I got right into golf.
Golf was going to be a financial engine to help me get through college, so once I realized that you don't need that money, you know, on top of scholarships and other grants that you get, that was going to be something that's going to help you get through it. Golf was never a thing that I was like, ‘I'm gonna go to a PGA and do it’ because I didn't really have a love for it like that. It was more of this is the engine that gets you to where you want to go. And you have to get a degree for it.
When I got done with golf, I was relieved because the pressures of school were so heavy on me. I didn’t have to worry about traveling to another state to play golf because at Morehouse, nobody professionally cared about sports. Even though you had an excuse to miss class they didn’t give you grace for that. It was kind of like “Well you missed this, so catch up.” So golf didn't really benefit me like it would with a professor that liked football and was like “Oh no, you're good. Just retake the test.”
All throughout college, I was like, I can be playing baseball, and be killing and not have to not have to worry about the racial profiling that happens in golf and all the other politics that happened in the game, especially for for Black players period, whether you're male or female.
Once the pandemic hit, I realized that I didn't have my job to escape to, my master's degree was done, and everybody was at home. I realized that I really missed baseball, because I knew I was good, but I let it all go because of how I was feeling at the moment. When you're 12, you don't really know what joy that was going to take away moving into another sport when you're already good at another one.
When I was playing baseball, there were a lot of hood dudes who were really good. That's all they had to get out, and you don't really see that in golf. At the same time, because I played with them, I feel like I can resonate with both sides. Like I'm not just this privileged dude who was able to play golf, because golf isn't cheap. I also came in with the dudes who were like, “If we don't do well in baseball, my family's not going to make it out.” So I was able to play with both sides, and I can sympathize and communicate and understand both sides.
Baseball happened when I was really young, so that's where my Earth, Wind, & Fire roots were deep. Golf reminded me of “Practice What You Preach” by Barry White. So those are the two different sides I knew. In baseball there was going to be a time where you had to make a choice. You love it, but you know what's annoying you, so are you going to be able to deal with that? That's the way of the world. With golf, people were going to be on my back a lot and there was going to be a lot of scrutiny, but there's something on the other side. "
Creative Direction: Nia Symone / Tyrone McClendon
Director of Photography: Scoot Took It
GFX & Video Edits by: Ethan Garner
Story Written by: Malik Brown