Olajuwon Ajanaku

October 14, 2022

October 14, 2022

“I don’t even know what it would have meant for me growing up to have someone like I am now to look toward. I was always looking for that person but never found it. And everybody that was a lot older told me that it was just impossible to be that out here on the golf course. And now I do what I want. I respect the game, but I’m myself. It’s my goal to be that person that people can look to.”

“My objective every single day is to be who I wanted to see out on the golf course, who I wanted to see in life when I was a kid. I want to say the things that I would have wanted to hear that would have pushed me further. Do the things that make the next generation rise. My goal every day is to push them to make them see that anything is really possible with the right plan.” 

“I created Eastside Golf, but it’s not about me. It’s about changing the game for the better. And for everybody else coming behind me when it comes to pro golf.” 

“Now, when kids see the logo – a Black man with swagger golfing – they feel like they can be themselves on the golf course. I remember how it felt so many times and I don’t want any other young person to feel the way I did.” 

“I’ve been playing before and I hit the ball out of bounds and it lands in someone’s yard. Well, if they have a sign that says ‘trespassers will be shot,’ I have to think about that. There’s no getting that ball. I can’t even go out and just enjoy myself. While I’m hitting a shot, I’m playing against the course, I’m playing against the people, I got an opponent that I’m playing against keeping his score, but also trying to keep my composure. This is a totally different game than anybody else that doesn’t look like me.”

“Now that I’ve got growing collaborations with the Jordan Brand, Nike, Charles Schwab, Hulu, Citibank, BMW – the list goes on – I continuously strive to make golf more inclusive. I want to see more diversity on a golf course.” 

“In general, things are getting better with golf. And if it’s up to me, it will keep getting better. If certain people can get in front of those new generations, and know that these are the people that are going to be running the golf course, that are going to be on the boards, and have that influence on them. That’s the only way that I actually see the change will come.” 

“We can do this.”

Olajuwon Ajanaku
Atlanta, Georgia

Olajuwon Ajanaku is the founder of Eastside Golf as well as being a professional golfer and HBCU graduate. His objective is to increase diversity in golf as well as in professional roles for the next generation.