Greg Fitzgerald (left) finds community with other gay golfers. | Greg Fitzgerald

Greg Fitzgerald is one of the few publicly out gay golf pros in the world. As The Masters is upon us, he shared some thoughts about where golf is on the efforts for LGBTQ inclusion.

He didn’t mince words.

“I don’t think most gay gays are going to even attempt to get to the professional level because there is so much time and effort to get to that point,” Fitzgerald told Outsports this week. “So they’re just around all these straight dudes every day. And they just drop out of that.”

He’s not wrong. It’s why LGBTQ sports leagues have blossomed over the last 30 years.

While the sports world is largely dominated by “straight dudes,” these leagues, including golf, are not.

“We’re just going to go join the gay leagues to join our own tribe,” he said. Fitzgerald is the golf pro at The Institute Golf Club.

You have Stonewall Golfers in Palm Springs. Golden Gayt Golf Club in the San Francisco Bay Area. Different Strokes in Dallas. And others.

“I’m more concerned, as a gay man, to find recreational sports than at the professional level,” Fitzgerald said. “I’d be more interested at Augusta to know about the spectators, who’s LGBTQ who wants to watch it because they love it. Who’s wearing rainbow socks there?”

There has never been a publicly out gay or bi man at The Masters. There hasn’t been, as far as Outsports knows, an out man at any of the Major tournaments.

Fitzgerald’s insight explains that.

Being around straight guys, and straight talk, and all the rest can weigh on a gay man. If there are other options, where other gay men are openly welcomed, why not engage?

This is the 88th straight Masters with zero out gay players.

While Fitzgerald is publicly out, he is one of a very small group of out golf pros, which also includes Kyle Winn in the Palm Springs area.

Fitzgerald said the construction of pro athletes’ participation in these sports creates a dynamic void of inclusion.

“In schools, colleges and the corporate world, everyone has to adhere to diversity and inclusion, and they go through harassment training,” he observed. “But in pro sports, straight men might like having just straight men on the team. And that’s OK.

He said the ultimate equalizers, of course, could quell waves and pave over any speed bumps, even in golf.

“Success and money, they are the trump card,” he said. “Then everyone likes you”