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Sam Puryear with Stephen Curry

Episode 9 features Sam Puryear, the golf coach at Howard University.

Sam Puryear is a former college golfer and a pioneer in the world of golf coaching. Sam played golf at Tennessee State University and eventually became the Executive Director at East Lake Junior Golf Academy in Atlanta, an experience that he writes about in his book, Diamonds in the Rough.

Sam coached at Stanford University (where the team won a National Championship), Michigan State University (where he was the first African-American head coach at a Power Five School and winner of a Big Ten Championship), and Queens University of Charlotte.

He is now the director of golf at Howard University, one of only twenty-five HBCUs with a Division 1 golf program. Stephen Curry helped fund this program and Sam talks about why he jumped at the opportunity to lead it.

Photo Credit: Callaway Golf, Range Talk video

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Sam’s childhood and introduction to golf
  • How Sam ended up at Tennessee State University
  • Dr. Catana Starks
  • Sam’s shift to coaching and his experience at Stanford
  • East Lake Junior Golf Academy
  • Sam’s book, Diamonds in the Rough
  • Faith
  • The genesis of the Howard University Golf Program
  • Stephen Curry (who’s funding the first 6 years of the program)
  • How Sam organizes golf practice for the men’s and women’s team
  • Howard University Golf goals and expectations

Would Sam prefer killer distance off the tee or an above average putting game? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Our time together ended with a lightning round of 5 questions.

Random References from this Podcast

  • Dr. Catana Starks
  • Jim Thorpe
  • Chuck Thorpe
  • Tom Cousins
  • Joseph Bramlett
  • Otis Ferguson IV

Connect with Samuel J. Puryear, Jr.

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