Dr. Sandra Braham is a student of life. So it was only natural that she became a student of golf. (Katherine Smith/Spectrum Sports 360)
PALM HARBOR, FL — Dr. Sandra Braham is a student of life.
Highlights the importance of diversity in golf Provides support for Holocaust survivors CEO of Gulf Coast JFCS expresses her love for golf
So it was only natural that she became a student of golf.
“I have learned that I’m pretty darn good and I’m about as good as anyone else who is learning this game,” Braham said.
Like anyone who falls for the sport, Braham’s enjoyed a love-hate relationship with golf.
“I’ve had some great shots and I’ve had a few wacko shots, but more good," she said. "And I even had a 50-plus putt once that went in the hole and it was quite celebrated.”
Braham owned a set of clubs for five years before taking her first lesson. A post on Facebook from Women of Color Golf set her path to the links in motion.
“Oh my goodness, look at these woman," Braham recalled. "They look like me, they have builds like me and it gave me just enough encouragement to ask and to find out.”
“You have to see yourself to believe you can achieve it and believe that you can do it yourself," said Women of Color Golf Founder and Executive Director Clemmie Perry. "So it’s important to see Tiger or Cameron Champs, a lot of individuals that are of color playing the game.”
Golf is more than a game for Braham. It’s a networking opportunity and a way to diversify a sport that sorely lacks diversity. Braham is the pure definition of diversity. She is an African-American woman serving as the CEO and president of the Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services.
“I thought, myself at first, wow, would they really consider hiring me.," Braham said. "And it was a match, I feel, a match made in heaven.”
Through her work, Braham provides a variety of services primarily in the Tampa Bay area. Her most fulfilling? The work the Gulf Coast JFCS does with Holocaust survivors.
“We’re still finding survivors who have never received support because they’ve remained independent and they’ve not wanted to ask for help,” she said.
But that’s what Braham does. She helps those in need.
“I see their faces. They give me hugs. We dance," Braham said. "It’s been a beautiful gift.”
Along with golf.
“I’ve fallen in love with the game," she said. "I don’t get to play enough, but I’m playing when I can and it’s nice to be exposed and be supported.
"I’ve learned a lot about just the patience and that I love being outdoors. No matter what, I love this game.”