Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. – (Jan. 18, 2024) – First Tee is pleased to announce that PGA TOUR player Alex Smalley has joined the nonprofit youth development organization as its newest ambassador.
In the role, Smalley will display the First Tee logo on his golf bag and promote the organization to help reach more kids and families with its character-building curriculum.
Smalley had some experience with First Tee as a youth in North Carolina, but his professional connection to the organization began in 2023, when he played with three First Tee alumni during the pro-am at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. Smalley, who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, also donated equipment to First Tee – Central Carolina. In his expanded role, Smalley will engage with First Tee participants both virtually and at tournaments, including at this week’s The American Express Golf Tournament at La Quinta Country Club in California, where Smalley and First Tee will formally kick off the partnership.
“Golf has had an incredible impact on my life,” Smalley said. “First Tee not only makes golf more accessible to kids from all backgrounds, but it also prepares children and teens for life beyond the golf course. I have had the opportunity to meet First Tee participants and alumni, and I have seen how the program has touched their lives. That is why I am excited to get involved.”
Smalley was a collegiate golf star at Duke University, where he was named ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2019. Smalley has represented the U.S. in the Walker and Palmer cups and has seven Top 10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, including his runner-up turn at the 2023 John Deere Classic. He finished No. 54 on the 2023 FedEx Cup in his sophomore season on the PGA TOUR.
Smalley joins Austin Smotherman, First Tee’s first official ambassador, in formally representing the organization. Smotherman is a professional golfer and First Tee – Greater Sacramento alumnus.
“We are excited that Alex has agreed to become a First Tee Ambassador and sees the impact that First Tee is having on young people today,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “We know that playing on the PGA TOUR is demanding and the fact Alex is giving of his time to help the next generation speaks volumes about his own character, and we are pleased to partner with him.”
First Tee’s mission is to provide character-building experiences to kids from all backgrounds, using golf to teach life skills and values that children and teens will carry with them throughout their lives.