The First Tee returns to THE PLAYERS Championship 2019 with interactive experiences for kids and families

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Hundreds of local kids to be rewarded with complimentary trip to THE PLAYERS, March 12-17

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – March 1, 2019 – The First Tee, a youth development organization dedicated to helping kids build character through the game of golf, will return to THE PLAYERS Championship, March 12-17, with a dedicated, immersive and interactive area for kids and families to enjoy all week.

The First Tee’s mission will come to life through two interactive and free venues, the Kids Zone presented by The First Tee and the 17th Hole Challenge presented by Optum, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton. Both experiences are located in THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience at the Nicklaus Entry and will be open from Tuesday through Sunday during tournament hours.

The Kids Zone presented by The First Tee is an immersive destination where kids and families can experience first-hand the fun, interactive and positive attributes of golf through The First Tee.  The 2,500-square-foot, air-conditioned venue will feature golf-themed games and activities that introduce kids to the sport and The First Tee’s signature programs currently offered in the U.S. and select international locations. On-site highlights include The First Tee’s par-3 Mini-Golf Challenge, a golf simulator, digital photo booth, The First Tee Target Wall and parent recharge stations with a live feed of the tournament.

The 17th Hole Challenge presented by Optum, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton will allow fans to take their shot at a scaled version of the par-3 17th at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Fans will have two free shots to try and hit the green and win prizes. Fans will have the option to purchase either a third shot for $5 or a Fast Pass for $20, with proceeds benefiting The First Tee of North Florida.

Throughout the week, The First Tee will host hundreds of students from Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia who are learning golf and core values through the in-school and after-school programs. The field trips are an opportunity for The First Tee’s program partners at select elementary schools, YMCA’s and Boys and Girls Clubs to visit the interactive venues and experience the game at the highest level.

“The First Tee is the place for kids to be introduced to this great, life-long sport and we look forward to using the Kids Zone presented by The First Tee as a launching point for many kids to start their journey with the game,” said The First Tee President Gregory T. McLaughlin. “We are proud to provide an excellent experience for kids and families to get a taste of The First Tee on the international stage of THE PLAYERS Championship.”

Golf is a sport the whole family can play, watch and enjoy, making the Kids Zone presented by The First Tee at THE PLAYERS the perfect destination for families. Thanks to one of the most kid-friendly policies in all of sport, there is no limit to the number of youth (18 and under) admitted FREE with one ticketed adult. In addition, THE PLAYERS offers a Family Plan package that makes the tournament even more affordable.

Reaching five million kids annually, The First Tee introduces kids to the game of golf and its inherent values through programs in all 50 states and select international locations. The First Tee of North Florida provides programs to youth throughout northeast Florida on golf courses, in elementary schools and at youth centers. The First Tee of North Florida will be accepting summer registrations online for kids ages 5-18 during and after THE PLAYERS.

To learn more about The First Tee, please visit:

More information about THE PLAYERS is available at


About THE PLAYERS Championship

THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Optum®, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton LLP are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled $100 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $9 million generated in 2018. For more on THE PLAYERS, visit For more on the surrounding areas, visit or

About The First Tee

The First Tee ( is a youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and at other youth-serving locations.

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has grown its network to deliver programs in all 50 United States. Each year, The First Tee brings character education through the game of golf to more than 5 million young people. The First Tee’s Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Southern Company is its Education Patron. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, a 501c3.

About Optum

Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 135,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment

banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in

more than 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations,

governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please


About Grant Thornton LLP

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.8 billion and operates 58 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. Please see for further details.

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