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AJGA Trailblazers: Connor Sullivan

Former AJGA Tournament Manager Connor Sullivan shares his journey from the AJGA to his current role as Associate Program Manager AJGA for TaylorMade.
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This week in the AJGA Trailblazers Spotlight Series, we are featuring Connor Sullivan, who currently serves as the Associate Program Manager, AJGA with TaylorMade. Sullivan got his start with the AJGA as most do with the organization, working the AJGA traveling internship program as an Operations Intern in 2017 and then returning the next summer as a Tournament Assistant (TA).

*A TA is an elevated internship position for those returning for another traveling internship season.

In 2019, he was hired full-time with the AJGA in the Operations Department as a Tournament Coordinator, with a promotion to Tournament Manager before transitioning to TaylorMade. Sullivan still works closely with the AJGA, working as one of TaylorMade’s AJGA player representatives and helps with their current partnership as a Global Sponsor of the AJGA.

The relationship between the AJGA and TaylorMade Golf started more than 30 years ago, with TaylorMade coming on board as a Global Sponsor in 2016. TaylorMade is the Official Golf Ball of the AJGA and supports several annual elite AJGA tournaments. With Sullivan's knowledge of both organizations, his experience with the players and running events, he has helped take the partnership to new levels to provide an elevated experience and interaction for everyone involved.

This serves as just one example of a full-circle moment he experienced with the AJGA.

Sullivan grew up deeply passionate about the game of golf, playing in competitive events from most of his childhood into his teenage years. This led him to compete in three AJGA events but ultimately, his playing career ended at the high school level. However, his love for the game led him to want to work within the golf industry.

“The experiences that I had playing AJGA events were amazing, and I enjoyed how different they were than anything else,” Sullivan said. "The college golf route didn’t work for me but having those experiences as a kid and seeing the high-quality events they [the AJGA] put on drew me to working for them.”

Connor Sullivan

Sullivan remembers during his playing days seeing staff members such as Tim Jackman, Vice President of Communications, and Ryan Flanagan, Senior Regional Director, Midwest. As an intern and full-time staff member, Sullivan believed that creating, working and putting on tournaments would provide those meaningful experiences.

“A lot of highlights come from the tournaments you work,” Sullivan said. "The event at The Highlands [Coca-Cola Junior Championship at The Highlands] was my favorite because I played in it as a junior so it’s very special to me. It’s just one I always looked forward to and loved going back.”

Sullivan found himself making a lot of connections both in the workplace and outside of the AJGA. Being on the road allowed him to work with many of his fellow Operations Department staff he considers close friends as well as form bonds with the tournament committee and its members. His willingness to network led him to his next venture with TaylorMade at the AJGA’s Intern Recruiting Weekend (IRW).

“It was unexpected, but I met [TaylorMade Employees] Ryan Ressa and Cory Johnson and they opened up the opportunity for someone to join the team,” Sullivan said. “I got to pick their brains and talk with them about the role and what they were looking for. It felt like a risk to move out to California, but if I hadn’t done it, I don’t know when the right opportunity would have opened again, so it was the right move.”

Connor Sullivan

In 2021, Sullivan started at TaylorMade as an Associate Program Employee Programs Manager where he was responsible for planning activities like company golf tournaments and outings, organizing holiday parties and employee celebrations. His experience with the AJGA made the transition seamless.

“The similarities between the two roles of the AJGA and my former role here were perfect,” Sullivan said. “The experience I got from my operations days translated perfectly that made the transition smoother and [helped me become] comfortable in that role.”

After two years, Sullivan moved to a position that brought him full circle with golf once again as he began as the Associate Program Manager, AJGA. He manages the relationship with the AJGA and its members whether that’s on the road at events, fitting and ordering clubs, or helping arrange specialty bags for their athletes amongst other responsibilities. He travels to around 10 to 15 events a year including TaylorMade sponsored AJGA events such as The Nelly Invitational, Team TaylorMade Invitational, TaylorMade TP5 Junior All-Star, and others.

“We put our name out there and on events, so we want people to get to know us,” Sullivan said. “I’m a face out there that people can see and the more that they’re interested in us, the more they’ll be interested in becoming a part of our team so that’s our main focus currently.”

Sullivan believes that the AJGA is a great starting point for those with and without golf experience as they can bring a unique skill set and point of view to offer to tournaments. His journey from the AJGA to TaylorMade gave him great perspective, friendships, and opportunities. As for the future, Sullivan doesn’t see it changing from what he’s doing currently.

“The culture here is amazing and my team is awesome, so I don’t see myself leaving here anytime soon,” Sullivan said. “I get to see a lot of my friends who are within the golf industry as well so how can I complain?”

Connor Sullivan's journey from competitive golfer to Associate Program Manager with TaylorMade exemplifies the full circle experiences and lasting connections forged through his time with the AJGA. Now, in a role that bridges his passion for golf and professional expertise, Sullivan continues to nurture partnerships and create meaningful experiences, embodying the culture of growth and camaraderie fostered by both organizations.