Oftentimes we find ourselves evaluating our level of success by what our job title is or how big our last paycheck was. Maybe even by our golf handicap or what we scored in last week’s tournament. But when you look at the people around you and you think about what truly matters most in this world, you’ll come to find that being successful isn’t measured by how many eagles and birdies you make, but by how you positively affect those around you. What impact are you making?
Last week, nine First Tee alumni teed it up at World Golf Village for the APGA Tour’s latest stop including five players alone from First Tee – Tampa Bay: Norman Black, Sam Davis, Evin Jenkins, Travis Wells and Joseph Dent, son of former PGA TOUR professional Jim Dent.
For many, playing in a professional tournament like this is a stepping stone for reaching a dream of playing on the PGA TOUR. It’s a goal – a dream, even. It certainly is a testament of the hard work and dedication that these players have achieved. But when you meet these amazing young men, you’ll find that it’s true – success extends far beyond the golf course. And what matters more to them is who they are as individuals and the impact they’re making on other people.
Joseph Dent, 20
“I learned from First Tee to have priorities and to always have a plan. I believe more young people need mentors who can guide them in the right direction. My biggest takeaway from First Tee is learning to give back and help others.”
Evin Jenkins, 21
“First Tee has taught me many life lessons and skills and how to use them in everyday life, both business and personally. My biggest take away is learning to become a man of integrity because that’s what golf stands for.”
Travis Wells, 21
“I want to be the voice that is able to inspire people to believe, devote and fight for themselves in every aspect of life. First Tee has equipped me to take on new challenges by pushing me to set goals for myself in golf and in life.”
Norman Black, 23
“I’ve always had a [First Tee] coach who was there to encourage me and give me an extra boost of confidence when I faced a situation that I didn’t think that I could overcome.”
They are successful, and not just because they’re competing and pursuing a golf career at the professional level. They’re giving back to their communities and chapters, instilling in their peers the same values they learned at First Tee – resilience, self-confidence and good judgment. With these skills, they are leaving their mark on the world.
Take it from Ian Baxter, the executive director of First Tee’s Tampa Bay chapter.
“The best thing about working for First Tee is watching our participants shine. That success comes in many forms – school, home life, maturity, being a good person, living a happy life and more. I am proud of the golf success that these alumni are achieving. But I am more proud of how each of them has grown into fine young men who embody First Tee.”
We need more Josephs, Evins and Travises in our world, and at First Tee, we’ll continue to help kids and teens uncover their self-confidence so they, too, can succeed in whatever goals they pursue.