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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Professional golfer, Notah Begay III, shares what his Native American heritage means to him
Notah Begay III with the cup - 2022 - Junior Presidents Cup (1).JPG

Native American Heritage Month is a time to honor and celebrate the history of American Indian and Alaska Native culture. The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) would like to pay tribute to all the Native Americans who have not only enriched America's history but have been huge components to making golf more inclusive. We believe welcoming people from all backgrounds and embracing diverse perspectives better equip us to accomplish our mission of developing golf's next generation.

As we wrap up Native American Heritage Month, the AJGA would like to highlight Notah Begay III and share how his Native American heritage has been influential in his personal life as well as his professional career. "The Native American culture is one of the most important parts of my life," Notah says. "I always made it a point to make friends and to serve the golf community in the best light possible."

We’re taught from the onset to appreciate the people in our lives as well as all the things in our surroundings. These principles influenced my golf career by encouraging me to approach the game and its community with an open mind.
Notah Begay III

This year, Begay was named captain of the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup team. He is the first Native American to receive this honor. Notah says, "For me to represent the United States and the amazing young men that competed for their country is both historical and memorable."

For a long time in this game people like me were not allowed to participate. But due to the sacrifices of amazing people like Charlie Sifford, the game has started to welcome players based on their ability and not their zip code.
Notah Begay III

Begay turned professional in 1995 and had four PGA TOUR victories. "I knew that if I could be successful in the AJGA, I could play anywhere," Begay shares. "The strong competitive environment created by the AJGA gave me the confidence to be successful in any career I chose."

Distinctions like Junior Presidents Cup Captain don’t really enter your mind but are a testament to a great career both on and off the course. I’m proud to have been selected and proud of the way our team competed.
Notah Begay III

From competing as an AJGA junior to being named captain of the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup team, Notah serves as an inspiration for young golfers. His dedication to the development of junior golf continues to make a lasting impact on the golf community and beyond.

Begay currently serves a broadcaster for the Golf Channel and made his PGA TOUR Champions debut this fall at the Constellation Furyk and Friends presented by Circle K.