James Reede III wants to leave a legacy and has the work ethic to do so. He manages pharmacies for his day job and spends his weekday afternoons working on his professional golfing career. He is also training to compete in a triathlon; his days usually start at 4:50A.M., where he gets his running and leg exercises done before work.
Although his job takes up most of his time, the income helps Reede III pay for the costly endeavor of being a pro golfer. He is working to compete in Monday qualifiers, which tend to have pricey entry fees.
“Golf is expensive, especially when you’re trying to make money to fund the whole exploration,” he said. “My whole golf bag is pushing seven grand for everything.”
Reede III has been playing golf since he was five years old and excelled at the sport. He found several organizations that allowed him to play golf, including the Sacramento Area Black Golf Club, The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, and The Wildhawk Golf Association. Through the organization Youth on Course, Reede III was able to play on golf courses in the afternoon for three dollars.
During his time at Monterey Trail high school, he helped his school district maintain their funding for golf teams. Reede III befriended a professional golfer who cut a $70,000 check to save the golf programs. He then got a full athletic scholarship to play for Jackson State University. When he competed at tournaments against 15 other schools, he would be the only African American golfer. His coach told him that he was not competing for just himself, but to represent Black people.
“That really resonated with me,” Reede III said. “That held me to a higher standard, I would never get mad and yell and throw clubs or curse because I know I got multiple people looking at me.”
Reede III recently finished his MBA from the University of South Carolina, Aiken and his job paid for his degree. His efforts put him on the president’s and dean’s list. Playing golf and being exposed to the culture of country clubs helped him with his current job.
“When you play golf, you meet all different types of businesspeople,” Reede III said. “Golfing has helped me get to where I am in being able to talk the lingo, being able to schmooze people.”
Reede III believes every young Black man should learn how to golf because of the networking skills it provides.
Throughout the years, Reede III accumulated several awards for his golfing skills. In 2012, he was named Junior Golfer of the Year. That following year, Reede III was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.
Reede III also put in countless hours volunteering, ultimately earning the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from former president Barak Obama.
“I’ve done everything, worked at food banks” Reede III said. “I have thousands of community service hours in high school.”
A main source of inspiration for Reede III is his father, James Reede Jr. Ed.D who served in the military and became the first owner of a wind farm in California.
“He’s always worked two jobs my entire life,” Reede III said. “He laid the ground work for me, I’m trying to keep up with him.”
Reede Jr. Ed.D also is the founder and co-chairmen of the Northern California African American Young Male Conference. As an undergrad student, Reede III began participating in his father’s organization.
“I mentored first-generation young Black males. I helped them navigate that whole process being away from home, getting registered for classes … acting as a big brother,” Reede III said. “I’ve been blessed and I feel like you got to pay it forward.”