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Making the cut

Mar 4, 2011
by Brain Thompson, '95

Two Flagler alumni in Golf Magazine’s ’40 under 40?

There they were, some of the biggest names in the world of golf: Tiger Woods. Michelle Wie. Donald Trump’s son, Donnie, and even pop star (and golf aficionado) Justin Timberlake.

They were all part of Golf Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list, which was billed as a collection of “the most influential people in golf under 40-years-old.”

But if you looked past the celebrities and sport stars, you may have noticed two more recognizable names on the list: Flagler alumni Laura Hill and Guy Garbarino, both 1998 sport management grads.

Hill is senior director of communications for the PGA Tour and Garbarino is senior director of outreach for The First Tee, an organization that helps bring golf to elementary schools across the United States.

Garbarino said his inclusion on such a star-studded listed was pretty unexpected.

“Honestly when I heard that I made (the list), it was pretty humbling,” he said. “There are some big names on the list (Timberlake, Tiger, and others) and I was glad to see that The First Tee was recognized for our youth development efforts in golf.”

Hill — whom the magazine lauded for her media liaison skills, saying it was “no small chore in the eye of the Tiger storm this year” — was also shocked by her inclusion.

“Of course, I headed to the bookstore to pick up a few copies,” she said. “The woman at the cash register asked, ‘Oh, do you know someone in here?’ … I have to admit it was kind of fun to tell her, ‘Yes … me!’ ”

Garbarino was picked for his involvement in the The First Tee National School Program, which helps to bring the sport to elementary schools across the United States.

“At the end of the day, I hope that the article will help to create more recognition of our organization and that it will lead to additional opportunities to reach more young people in this country,” he said.

For Hill, it was a reward for what has been a difficult year with the controversy surrounding Woods as he returned to the links.

“It’s been an interesting year, definitely,” she said. “We’ve been dealing with media that don’t typically cover the PGA Tour or golf in general — more from the entertainment side of the business — because of Tiger’s situation.  

“But it’s also given us a chance to highlight the personalities of some of the other players who often get less attention because Tiger was dominating the Tour for so many years. Every day is different, which keeps this job exciting and challenging for me.”  

The magazine called the 40 picked for its list the game’s “up-and-coming generation of influencers, trendsetters and newsmakers, an eclectic mix of talent worth watching today and for many years to come.”

Nominees for the ranking were solicited from a wide variety of sources and the finalists were picked by a panel of Golf Magazine editors. See the full list at

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