ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2020) – First Tee, a youth development organization providing active learning experiences to help young people build character through the game of golf, will kick off summer registration around the country and showcase the impact of its program as a featured charity during THE PLAYERS Championship, March 10-15, 2020.
Highlights for the week include:
- The 17th Hole Challenge presented by Morgan Stanley, Grant Thornton and Optum: First Tee is about building character and using that inner-strength to take on new challenges in life. Throughout the week, guests can demonstrate their self-confidence on a replica of the famed par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Fans will have the option to purchase a third shot or a First Tee Fast Pass, with proceeds benefiting First Tee of North Florida. Located in THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience at the Nicklaus entry, high-profile influencers and celebrities are known to stop by to take the challenge.
- Youth Clinic with PGA TOUR pros: On Monday, March 9, a youth clinic will take place with participants from the First Tee of North Florida and PGA TOUR professionals, in conjunction with Nike, at the 17th Hole Challenge. Media are invited for the purposes of covering the event and must apply for tournament credentials by February 28 at pgatourmedia.com.
- Girls Golf Mentoring Event: On Tuesday, March 10, Morgan Stanley – one of THE PLAYERS Championship’s Proud Partners – will host girls from First Tee of North Florida in a private event focused on mentorship and financial literacy with LPGA professional Cheyenne Woods and local Morgan Stanley leaders. Media are invited for the purposes of covering the event and must apply for tournament credentials by February 28 at pgatourmedia.com.
- Featured Charity of the Day: On Wednesday, March 11, First Tee will give away free bag tags to the first 5,000 fans and will be featured onsite throughout the tournament and on THE PLAYERS digital channels.
- Cola’s Reverse Vending Machine Benefiting First Tee: Fans can demonstrate their commitment to the next generation by recycling all plastic bottles throughout the week in Coca-Cola’s ‘reverse vending machine’ in Stadium Village. With each recycled item, Coca-Cola will automatically donate to First Tee of North Florida.
- Featured First Tee Participants and Alumni at THE PLAYERS: Throughout the week, First Tee of North Florida participants will be experiencing the event, many for the first time, and First Tee, First Tee of North Florida and THE PLAYERS will spotlight their engagement on digital channels. Bios and quotes are below.
Fans around the country watching THE PLAYERS can sign their children up at one of the First Tee chapters offering programs at more than 1,200 locations. Trained coaches deliver the programs to kids and teens, helping build self-confidence, inner-strength and resilience, and equipping them with tools that they can apply in school, their careers and whatever they set out to do.
Impactful Participant Stories, First Tee of North Florida
Blair Waters, a First Tee of North Florida alumnus, has benefited immensely from learning First Tee’s values like perseverance and self-confidence. With support from his First Tee coaches, Waters found the inner-strength to complete high school after nearly dropping out. Now a graduate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a degree in Professional Golf Management, Blair currently works at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. He recently returned to North Florida to participate in THE PLAYERS Charity Shootout held in February.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without First Tee.” – Blair Waters, age 27
Manyi Ngu and her sister Mombo are immigrants from Cameroon. Coming from a single-parent household, Manyi’s experiences with First Tee have inspired her to become a leader and give back to her community.
“First Tee has nurtured me and given me the confidence to approach every aspect of my life proactively.” – Manyi Ngu, age 16
Jacob Davis exhibits the values and character First Tee instills in young people. Despite having a rare condition that has required more than 30 surgeries, Jacob exudes positivity, continuing to give back to his community. After completing his Eagle Scout project of fulfilling an entire wish lists at local animal shelters, Jacob decided to do the repeat the project a second time.
“First Tee has given me opportunities to play at golf courses I might not have had the chance to play, while making new friends and learning from others.” – Jacob Davis, age 16
Caitlyn Lavant, a sixth grader, is one of the most active participants at the chapter at just 11 years old. When Caitlyn’s family experienced personal hardships, she found community in the First Tee.
“I am equipped for life because First Tee has made me a better person.” – Caitlyn Lavant, age 11
Brandon Fowler might never have played golf had it not been for First Tee. Brandon has actively taken advantage of all the opportunities afforded to him by First Tee and looks forward to giving back to the chapter that gave so much to him. First Tee has provided Brandon with the opportunity to explore possibilities that golf can provide while helping him grow personally.
“First Tee has given me self-confidence. I’ll always know I can succeed, even when things are difficult.” – Brandon Fowler, age 15
Grace Richards was selected to attend one of First Tee’s national participant opportunities, the 2019 Joe Louis Barrow Jr. Life Skills and Leadership Academy. She had the opportunity to develop and hone skills to become leader at her chapter, school and community. Grace aspires to become the executive director of a non-profit.
“I am different because First Tee taught me how to become a confident leader. I used to enter group settings with reservation. Because of First Tee, I can take charge, lead with confidence and take on life’s challenges with a positive attitude.” – Grace Richards, age 16
View photos of the First Tee of North Florida participants.
About First Tee
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since beginning in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach millions of young people on golf courses, in schools and at youth centers. First Tee is headquartered in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, with programs in all 50 United States and select international locations.
About THE PLAYERS Championship
THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the strongest field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Morgan Stanley, Grant Thornton LLP and Optum® are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $100 million since it began in 1974 and moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977. In 2019, THE PLAYERS generated a record $9.25 million for local charities. For more on THE PLAYERS, visit THEPLAYERS.com. For more on the surrounding areas, visit floridashistoriccoast.com or visitjacksonville.com