USGA Extends Longtime Support of First Tee

USGA IDEA grant program delivers $200K to First Tee chapters in support of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility efforts

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. (Oct. 20, 2021) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) has distributed $200,000 in grants across 20 First Tee chapters through the inaugural IDEA grant program – a dedicated effort to directly empower inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility efforts at the local golf level.

The program was created this year to address the barriers that underserved and underrepresented youths face in their potential introduction to and participation in golf and First Tee’s character-building programs. Grants range from $20,000 to $7,500 and support initiatives including transportation for youths to get to and from First Tee program locations as well as recruitment and training of diverse staff and coaches.

“We have a commitment as an organization to be an impactful partner to those in the industry who share our vision for what we want golf’s future to look like,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “Both the USGA and First Tee believe that golf is a better game now and in the future when it’s accessible and representative of everyone, and it starts at the junior level.”

“The USGA’s support is a game changer for youths in the communities that we serve,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “With these grants, our chapters are opening the door to even more youth, especially in underserved and underrepresented communities, to explore the possibilities in golf and beyond as they build their character and life lessons through the game.”

Since 1997, the USGA has invested more than $33 million among First Tee, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, and Drive, Chip & Putt programs in an effort to provide greater access to golf for juniors and cultivate a lifelong passion for the game. The commitment is part of a $1.3 million annual investment the organization makes in national programs that reach young people, fueled by revenue from the U.S. Open.

Grant applications were available to First Tee chapters located within the 14 markets where USGA championships took place in 2021 and where they are scheduled in 2022, as well as chapters affiliated with one of the association’s 59 Allied Golf Associations (AGAs). Located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, AGAs serve millions of golfers at the recreational level by increasing engagement and participation and improving the golfer experience.

The 2021 grant recipients include:

First Tee ChapterUSGA Championship Host Communities and Supporting USGA Allied Golf Associations
First Tee — Central Carolina2022 U.S. Women’s Open, Carolinas Golf Association
First Tee — Coachella ValleySouthern California Golf Association
First Tee — Connecticut2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Connecticut State Golf Association
First Tee — Greater Baltimore                                                   2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Maryland State Golf Association
First Tee — Greater CharlestonCarolinas Golf Association
First Tee — Greater Cincinnati & Northern KentuckyGreater Cincinnati Golf Association
First Tee — Greater PasadenaSouthern California Golf Association
First Tee — Greater PhiladelphiaGolf Association of Philadelphia  
First Tee — Greater Washington, DC2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Maryland State Golf Association
First Tee — HawaiiHawaii State Golf Association  
First Tee — LouisvilleKentucky Golf Association
First Tee — Metropolitan New York  2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur, Metropolitan Golf Association
First Tee — Omaha2021 U.S. Senior Open, Nebraska Golf Association
First Tee — Pittsburgh  2021 U.S. Amateur, Western Pennsylvania Golf Association
First Tee — San Diego2021 U.S. Open, Southern California Golf Association
First Tee — Sandhills2022 U.S. Women’s Open, Carolinas Golf Association
First Tee — Silicon Valley2021 U.S. Women’s Open, Northern California Golf Association
First Tee — Upstate South CarolinaCarolinas Golf Association
First Tee — West Michigan2021 U.S. Senior Amateur, Golf Association of Michigan
First Tee — West VirginiaWest Virginia Golf Association

WHOOP and First Tee Announce Multi-Year Partnership

WHOOP contributions to First Tee build on shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and support for empowering youth through golf

BOSTON, October 8, 2021 WHOOP, the human performance company, and First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, announced a multi-year partnership that will support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across First Tee’s network as well as support First Tee — Massachusetts with transportation and equipment needs for participants.

“First Tee empowers children and teens with self-confidence and resilience through the game of golf.” said WHOOP Founder and CEO Will Ahmed. “The organization’s focus aligns with the WHOOP mission to unlock human performance. We’re honored to support First Tee as it creates such transformational experiences for kids.”

First Tee began in 1997 and has been proven to have a lasting impact beyond skills learned on the course. After joining a First Tee chapter, program participants demonstrate their ability to transfer life skills, such as problem solving, goal setting and self-management, to school and life. Today, First Tee reaches more than 3.7 million youth ages 5-18 annually across 1,200 programming locations, over 9,000 schools and over 1,300 youth-serving locations, empowering participants to build their confidence to take on new challenges and opportunities.

“We are grateful for partners like WHOOP who share our values and passion for empowering youth through golf,” said First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin. “With support of our dedicated partners, we are expanding our reach, especially inviting those who are in underserved communities to have access to programs and new opportunities.”

In addition to supporting First Tee nationally and First Tee — Massachusetts, WHOOP has made its industry-leading wearable technology available at a discount to over 20,000 First Tee volunteers so they may optimize their health and wellness goals on and off the course.

For WHOOP, this new partnership with First Tee builds on the company’s established connection to the sport of golf. WHOOP is the official fitness wearable of the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour and is currently worn by top golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Nelly and Jess Korda. Howard University Athletics also named WHOOP as the official performance partner for their women’s and men’s golf teams’ inaugural season. This new commitment to First Tee allows even more athletes and students to benefit from the organization’s programming and aligns with the WHOOP mission to unlock human potential.

To learn more about First Tee, please visit https://firsttee.org/.

81 First Tee Teens from Across the Country Experience Week of a Lifetime at PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee at Pebble Beach

Teens from Monterey, Calif. and Baltimore win Pro-Junior Titles

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2021) – First Tee teens from across the country had the opportunity to learn from the game’s legends and explore possibilities in golf and beyond during the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee, which concluded today at Pebble Beach.  An official PGA TOUR Champions event, the participants are paired with PGA TOUR Champions players providing life-changing mentoring opportunities for the teens.

Colin Vineberg from First Tee – Greater Baltimore, paired with Rocco Mediate, and Sydney Craven from First Tee – Monterey County, paired with Tim Petrovic, claimed the male and female Pro-Junior titles today, respectively. Vineberg and Mediate finished 23-under, while Craven and Petrovic capped off the event 26-under.

First Tee is a national youth development program that empowers young people build character and life skills through the game of golf. The event, in its 18th year, brings 81 teens from First Tee chapters nationwide to Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill. Throughout the week the teens apply the life and leadership skills learned from First Tee programs as they compete on the national stage. The annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, was televised internationally on Golf Channel.

Caption: Colin Vineberg, First Tee – Greater Baltimore, Sydney Craven, First Tee – Monterey County with First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin

“We are proud of all the teens who played with confidence and composure this week at the PURE Insurance Championship,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “These young people exemplify the character and values we instill through the First Tee programs every day. A special congratulations to Colin and Sydney for winning the Pro-Junior titles. Thank you to our partners – PURE Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions, Chevron, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Golf Channel – for making this a special week for 81 First Tee participants.”

Craven is an 18-year-old senior from Monterey County where she has a 3.8 GPA at Robert Louis Stevenson School. She is an active member of Student Council and the Interact Club. Involved with First Tee – Monterey County for nine years, she holds an 8 handicap and credits the program for developing life skills and a deeper appreciation of values, such as responsibility, that will help her become a leader. She aspires to play collegiate golf and one day on the LPGA Tour.

“I am so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity,” said Craven. “Thank you to PURE Insurance and First Tee for this experience. I’ve learned so many life lessons this week playing with the professionals that I will take with me beyond the golf course.”

Vineberg is a 16-year-old junior from Sparks, MD where he has a 3.7 GPA at St. Paul’s School. He has been involved with First Tee – Greater Baltimore for 10 years and is a game changer in his community volunteering with many organizations, from serving food to the homeless to mentoring younger junior golfers. Vineberg holds a 2 handicap and aspires to play collegiate golf.

“This week has been a once-in-lifetime experience. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and so thankful for First Tee for helping me build my confidence to play an iconic course like Pebble Beach with legends of the game. I hope I can make a difference in the lives of others like First Tee has had in my life. Thank you to PURE Insurance for the amazing opportunity.”

During the week, First Tee partners PURE Insurance and Chevron both hosted events to celebrate their commitment to First Tee’s mission and raise additional funds to support the First Tee College Scholarship Program. The program pairs Scholars with a mentor and provides professional development workshops and financial assistance throughout the college experience.

First Tee is a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The PURE Insurance Championship is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.

Photos from the event are available here. For more information on the tournament, visit PUREInsuranceChampionship.com. To learn more about First Tee and see the full field list, visit TheFirstTee.org.

First Tee – Los Angeles to Launch Programs Spring 2022

Youth from the after-school program Beyond the Bell enjoyed a kickoff clinic featuring Korn Ferry Tour player and First Tee alumnus Chase Johnson yesterday

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2021) – First Tee, a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, will begin offering programs to Los Angeles-area youth in Spring 2022. More than 50 kids participated in a kick-off event at Chester Washington Golf Course featuring Korn Ferry Tour player and First Tee alumnus Chase Johnson. [Photos and broll are available here.]

“Los Angeles is such an important community, and we are pleased with the progress underway to relaunch our programs next spring,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “As evidenced by the young people who attended yesterday’s event, we feel confident that we will open doors and make an impact on the youth we serve here. Special thanks to Chase for participating in the event and ESPN for their support.”

“Because of First Tee I’ve had all the opportunities to play collegiate golf, get to the Korn Ferry Tour and prepare to go to the PGA TOUR,” Chase said. “Anything is possible with the support of caring mentors and role models like the First Tee coaches I had growing up at First Tee — Akron, whether it’s playing golf at the professional level and pursing a professional career.”

First Tee is a national youth development organization with approximately 150 chapters nationwide and in select international locations. The program is delivered at golf courses, in schools and through after-school partnerships, and is designed to empower youth to build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that they can carry to everything that they do, including school.

First Tee — Los Angeles will begin offering programs next spring at golf courses in South L.A. and will expand throughout Los Angeles County in the coming years. Coaches will partake in First Tee’s coach training program, which is built on research-proven methods of positive youth development and will provide them with the tools to make kids feel safe, included and empowered.

Beyond programs offered locally, participants who advance through the program will be eligible to apply for national participant opportunities hosted by First Tee Headquarters. From being mentored by PGA TOUR Champions players at Pebble Beach to a College Scholarship Program that provides support through personal and professional development workshops and mentorship, the national opportunities invite high school students to expand horizons, meet new people and open the doors to new experiences as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.

The announcement was made yesterday during a kick-off clinic held at Chester Washington Golf Course. Sponsored by ESPN, a First Tee Trustee, Johnson hosted the clinic for 50 youth from Beyond the Bell, an after-school program focused on providing high quality, safe and supervised programs for students in Los Angeles. The students, many of whom have not played the game of golf, had hands-on opportunities to swing a golf club in a setting that empowers them to embrace challenge and try something new.

Photos and broll from the clinic are available here. For more information on First Tee, visit www.FirstTee.org.

First Tee and John Deere Host 24 Teens for the Drive Your Future Academy

The national, all-girls’ professional development event is being held in Detroit, September 3-6

Detroit – (Sept. 3) – Twenty-four teens from First Tee chapters across the country are attending the John Deere Drive Your Future Academy this week in Detroit. Held Sept. 3-6, the academic, career and leadership development academy is hosted by First Tee and John Deere.

During the event, the girls will explore topics that will help them prepare for the future including volunteerism, teamwork and remaining active in the game of golf. The curriculum will come to life through interactive workshops and team-building activities such as a community service project and golf outing. In addition, the girls will attend the Solheim Cup in Toledo, Ohio.

“John Deere is proud to support the Drive Your Future Academy and congratulates the 24 girls who have earned this opportunity,” said John Watson, John Deere relationship manager of First Tee. “We know this experience will position them to build upon an already strong foundation and be positioned for great things going forward.”

The teens were selected for the Drive Your Future Academy through a national application process that scored applicants based on essays, letters of recommendation, and involvement in First Tee and other activities.

First Tee is a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The John Deere Drive Your Future Academy is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.

For more information, visit FirstTee.org.

Twelve Exemplary High School Seniors Earn Selection in to First Tee College Scholarship Program

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. (June 2, 2021) – Twelve high school graduates have been selected to the First Tee College Scholarship Program based on academic performance, length and involvement in First Tee programs, financial need and commitment to volunteerism. This class of scholars includes aspiring engineers, accountants, teachers and environmental activists, all of whom will be attending stand out colleges and universities, including Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, Indiana University and other top institutions across the country.

Selected from a national pool of candidates, the Scholars represent diverse backgrounds from communities across the First Tee network. The class is comprised of eight females and four males and 59% are ethnically diverse. The Scholars’ average GPA is 4.19 on a 4.0 scale and hold an average of 1,422 out of 1,600 on SAT and 31 out of 36 on ACT. Five of the Scholars will play on their college’s golf team.

“I offer congratulations and a warm welcome to our new class of First Tee College Scholars,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “I am proud to continue First Tee’s support of these students at such an important time in their lives – through their matriculation and beyond. These outstanding young leaders remind us how bright the future is for them and for the industries and communities they will eventually serve. We are appreciative of donors to the First Tee College Scholarship Program who make this program possible.”

First Tee College Scholarship Program extends its impact to alumni by providing support throughout their post-graduate career. Each of the scholars are paired with a dedicated, trained adult mentor who will help encourage and guide them throughout the college experience, including virtual and in-person meetups. The program also provides professional development workshops held in-person throughout the year.

Applications were received from participants at 44 chapters in 28 states across the nation. Following an online application process, finalists were selected by a committee for one-on-one interviews. In addition to academic performance, applicants were considered based on financial need, chapter involvement, volunteerism and other criteria.

First Tee College Scholarship Program is made possible by donors and corporate partners who stand behind the program and First Tee’s mission, including Astros Golf Foundation, Peter A. Bonanni Scholarship Fund, Chevron Corporation, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, Timothy W. Finchem Scholarship Fund, Paul and Ruth Flowers, Morrell Studios, Charles Schwab, TruGreen, Edward and Lisa Vaughan and Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund.

First Tee’s College Scholarship Class of 2021 includes:
(Listed alphabetically; all GPAs are on a 4.0 scale)

Claire Alford, First Tee — Central Coast
Santa Clara University

Graduating with a 4.56 GPA Claire has received many honors and accolades for her hard work and plans to major in Public Health and Biology with a goal of attending medical school.

Marion Caldwell, First Tee — Four Corners
Dartmouth University

Pursuing a future in teaching, Marion is passionate about passing down the knowledge she has obtained throughout her life to the children within her community and will major in both English and History.

Natalie Cao, First Tee — Greater Houston
University of Pennsylvania 

Natalie strives for greatness in both the classroom and on the course and will play on the women’s golf team while majoring in economics.

Molly Castle, First Tee — Tennessee
University of Tennessee Knoxville

As a First Tee — Tennessee participant for seven years, Molly has used that experience and her love of golf for helping others within her community. She plans to major in agriculture sciences.

Malisone Chanthapanya, First Tee — Fort Worth
Texas Wesleyan University

With a cumulative 4.0 GPA combined with her success on the course, Malisone plans to continue her golf career at Texas Wesleyan University while double majoring in computer science and accounting.

Quincy Crawford, First Tee — Greater Washington, D.C.
University of Cincinnati

Quincy has plans to study Aerospace Engineering in pursuit of his goal to create fuel-efficient aircrafts, lessoning the overall carbon footprint and possibly slow the rate of climate change.

Rebecca Jones, First Tee — Indiana
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rebecca will be studying environmental engineering and plans to use her degree to focus on land remediation and implementing new systems to reduce pollution.

Josh Lendach, First Tee — Triangle
University of Cincinnati

Josh has earned the privilege to play golf at the University of Cincinnati where he will pursue his passions for golf and environmental/atmospheric sciences.

Meghna Mazumdar, First Tee — Connecticut
Boston College

Scoring a 1430 on her SATs while achieving a 4.12 cumulative GPA, Meghna will study Business Economics where she will pursue her passion for investing in the stock market.

Benjamin Nganga, First Tee — Tennessee
University of Indiana

A first-generation college student, Benjamin’s 4.46 GPA has earned him the prestigious Fry Scholarship to attend the University of Indiana Kelly Business School where he will double major in Finance and Computer Science.

Kaleb Palm, First Tee — Central Florida
Florida Atlantic University

Graduating with 4.69 GPA, Kaleb will major in marketing and business while playing on the men’s golf team at Florida Atlantic University.

Borina Sutikto, First Tee — Silicon Valley
Santa Clara University

A nine-year participant at First Tee — Silicon Valley, Borina is graduating with a 4.25 GPA and plans to study Accounting & Information Systems while playing on the women’s golf team.

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About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its 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 its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.6 million young people annually through its chapter network, in schools and at youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.

Contacts:
Sara Henika
First Tee
[email protected]

Dana Gordon
First Tee/BZA PR
[email protected]

48 Teens Selected for Inaugural First Tee National Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. (April 28, 2021) – First Tee has announced the 48-player field for the first-ever First Tee National Championship, June 20-24, 2021 at Clemson University. The event, postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will bring together First Tee’s elite golfers for an opportunity to showcase how the program has helped build the strength of character needed to play at the collegiate or next level.

While COVID protocols will be in effect, the 54-hole event will take place and the winners of each girls’ and boys’ divisions will be awarded with the Tattersall Cup and also will earn an exemption into the PGA TOUR Champions’ PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee held at Pebble Beach Golf Links September 21-26, 2021.

“We are excited to congratulate this field of teenagers from across the U.S. who have worked hard to advance their golf games while also staying involved in school and their chapters,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “We are thankful to longtime First Tee supporter Fred Tattersall for creating this opportunity for the young people across our network of 150 chapters.”

First Tee National Championship will be held annually at various college campuses around the nation providing First Tee participants the opportunity to network with others from across the country and take in the college experience.

Clemson University’s The Walker Course is set to host the inaugural Championship. During the week, participants will have the opportunity to hear from PGA Head Golf Professional Steve Scott on how his values intersected with his experience of finishing Runner-Up to Tiger Woods in the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship.

The field includes 24 boys and 24 girls, ages 14-19, who were selected based on their golf skill, competitive golf experience and handicap. Players will come from 32 First Tee chapters across the country. Full list of selected participants here.

First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to helping young people learn life skills and build character through the game of golf. The National Championship is one of more than 10 national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters to empower and motivate teens as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. For more information on the tournament and First Tee, visit www.thefirsttee.org.
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About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its 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 its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.6 million young people annually through its chapter network, in schools and at youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.

Media Contact:
Dana Gordon
[email protected]
856-397-2917

CapTech Partnership Supports Teens, Drives Innovation at First Tee

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. and RICHMOND, VA. (April 27, 2021) – CapTech, a leading technology consulting firm, and First Tee, a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, today announced a new partnership that will provide First Tee participants further support and access to technology and mentorship as they progress through the program.

As a Trustee, CapTech’s investment in First Tee will support curriculum enhancements, technology innovations, ongoing research and expanding diversity and inclusion initiatives for the growing network of 150 chapters. CapTech will also lend leadership and expertise to First Tee for its national participant opportunities, including the Innovators Forum, an event that empowers First Tee teens to raise awareness of global issues through the development of a meaningful service project in their communities.

“We are proud to support a world-class organization like First Tee that shares our passion for developing and empowering young people,” said CapTech Chairman Sandy Williamson. “We believe technology can help create a more diverse and inclusive future in which youth can confidently compete on a level playing field. CapTech is committed to leveraging our capabilities as innovators, engineers and strategists to accomplish this very important purpose.”

In addition to its commitment as a Trustee, CapTech is supporting First Tee — Greater Richmond in its creation of a state-of-the-art golf technology lab at the Belmont course, newly redesigned by Davis Love III’s company, Love Golf Design. With an emphasis on inclusivity, the lab will support training and development for youth of all skill levels through the innovative use of data, design and technology. A central goal of the lab is to use data available from golf training tools, mobile devices and third-party sources to connect and integrate functionality.

“We are thankful for partners like CapTech that provide support across a number of important areas for our organization,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “We are grateful that they have engaged on multiple fronts in support of our mission.”

***

About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its 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 its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.6 million young people annually through its chapter network, in schools and at youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.

About CapTech
CapTech is a national consulting firm that helps clients grow efficient, successful businesses. We do so by bringing the data, systems, and ingenuity organizations need to stay ahead and transform what’s possible in a changing world.  Here, we’re master builders, creators, and problem solvers who find inspiration in the unknown and enjoy getting our hands dirty as we design solutions for each client. Across industries and business goals, we fuse technical depth and analytical prowess with creative savvy to ignite innovation and move business forward. This drive helps each organization use technology, management, and insight to turn ideas into action. Together, we create outcomes that exceed the expected — which is one of the reasons we’ve been on the Inc. 500/5000 list for over a decade. Learn more about CapTech at captechconsulting.com.

Media Contacts:
Jane Fader, First Tee
904-940-4330
[email protected]

Mary Everette Cann, CapTech
917-923-6673
[email protected]

First Tee Concludes Five-Week Leadership Series for 235 Teens Nationwide in Partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore

Forty teens to be selected for annual Leadership Summit at West Creek Ranch in Montana this Summer

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. and ATLANTA, Ga. (March 24, 2021) − First Tee, a youth development organization helping kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, partnered with PGA TOUR Superstore to host a first-of-its-kind, annual leadership series over five weeks in February and March.

Teenagers across the country discovered personal values and leadership skills through interactive sessions facilitated by PGA TOUR Superstore general managers. The curriculum explored potential career fields based on interests to guide the participants as they navigate future collegiate and professional opportunities. The five-week series concluded with a virtual town hall featuring First Tee alumni and young professionals in medical, sports and communications fields.

“We are thankful to PGA TOUR Superstore for their support in helping create this incredible opportunity for so many teens to discover college and career pathways,” First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin said. “It’s important that First Tee provides opportunities where young people can explore their futures.”

Through a post-event participant survey, 95 percent of participants said they better understood their personal values and strengths, and 91 percent have set goals to work toward their interested career pathways.

“These events often become life-changing experiences for participants to expand their horizons, meet new people and learn more about themselves,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “We developed this curriculum to teach, help and encourage First Tee students as they advance through these development programs on their way to pursuing higher education opportunities.”

For participants like Nancy Rivera of San Jose, Calif., the Leadership Series was an opportunity to share a personal story about how First Tee values of giving back and respecting diversity have impacted her. Rivera is hoping to be the first in her family to attend college.

Experiencing national First Tee opportunities like the Leadership Series, she says, is playing a big role in making her collegiate dream that much closer to a reality. She has been a participant of First Tee – Silicon Valley since 2017. She is a student at University Preparatory Academy in San Jose where she is working on a plan to attend a four-year university or college in the fall of 2022.

“I am proud to be part of a group that promotes respect, appreciating diversity and provides tools on how to help and think of others,” Rivera said. “Respect is a big part of our daily lives, especially living in the Bay Area where we have a diverse community. I’ve learned what it means to truly, actively listen and see how listening involves asking follow-up questions to better understand the perspectives of others.

“So far we have worked together to organize food drives every week, supported different causes such as Black Lives Matter, and different organizations that help our environment.”

The Leadership Series was hosted in 27 communities across the country with PGA TOUR Superstores and First Tee chapters. Forty teens who completed the series will be selected in June for the first-ever First Tee Leadership Summit, which takes place this August at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman and PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation Board Member Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana.

The 40 teens who will be selected for the First Tee Leadership Summit at West Creek Ranch in Montana this August will take part in interactive workshops and outdoor leadership trainings. The summit will include First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience as a part of the experience, combined with a robust curriculum of leadership and professional development. At the conclusion of the Summit, four students will be selected to be part of the First Tee College Scholarship Program thanks to PGA TOUR Superstore.

For more than a decade, PGA TOUR Superstore and Mr. Blank have championed First Tee’s mission through charitable and in-kind donations across the country. In September 2020, PGA TOUR Superstore announced a new grant that will help First Tee reach more children across the U.S. and strengthen its curriculum for teenage participants, including the development of this new Leadership Series and Summit.

The Leadership Series and Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters to inspire and equip teens on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.

Photos and a pre-packaged video feature are available here. For more information on First Tee, visit www.firsttee.org.

First Tee Launches Inaugural Leadership Series in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore

Teens across the country kick off a five-week leadership series 

 ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. and ATLANTA, Ga. (February 8, 2021) − First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, has launched a first-of-its-kind leadership series this week with support from PGA TOUR Superstore.

The First Tee Leadership Series in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore is an interactive five-week series designed to provide teens the opportunity to discover their personal values and emerging leadership strengths. Through the series, teens also begin to explore potential career fields based on those findings and frame out multi-year goals to guide them as they navigate future career opportunities.

“It is powerful for teens to have the opportunity and guidance to start uncovering insights about who they are and how they can translate their interests, values and strengths into career choices,” said First Tee CEO Greg McLaughlin. “We are thankful for PGA TOUR Superstore for supporting this Leadership Series that will empower teens to pursue their goals and passions and be leaders in their career and fields of choice.”

Throughout the series, the teens will also meet and hear from PGA TOUR Superstore associates and First Tee alumni who will share personal accounts of their career paths and experiences.

The Leadership Series – which was co-created between First Tee and PGA TOUR Superstore – is being hosted in 27 communities across the country where there is a store and a First Tee chapter. PGA TOUR Superstore general managers will facilitate the interactive sessions between Feb. 8 and March 15 either virtually or in stores and chapters, with safe and socially distant protocols in place.

Once the participants complete the series, they will be eligible to apply for the First Tee Leadership Summit in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore. The Summit will be held this August at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman Arthur M.  Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. Forty teens will be selected for the Summit where they’ll take part in interactive workshops and outdoor leadership trainings. The Summit will include First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience as a part of the experience, combined with a robust curriculum of leadership and professional development.

“At PGA TOUR Superstore, we are committed to giving back and being a positive influence in our communities,” said Dick Sullivan, President & CEO, PGA TOUR Superstore. “We truly believe in the purposeful impact sports can have in developing and supporting youth. PGA TOUR Superstore is proud to have supported First Tee for more than a decade, working together to open the door to more kids, especially inviting those who are in underserved communities.”

In September, PGA TOUR Superstore announced a new grant that will help First Tee reach more children across the U.S. and strengthen its curriculum for teenage participants, including the development of this new Leadership Series and Summit.

The Leadership Series and Summit is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters to inspire and equip teens on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. These events often become life-changing experiences for participants to expand their horizons, meet new people, learn more about themselves and prepare for their futures.

For more information on First Tee, visit www.firsttee.org.

First Tee Game Changers Academy to Explore Issues of Race and Equality with Teen Participants

First Tee has partnered with RISE to facilitate the national event held July 20-24 in Philadelphia

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (January 18, 2021) − First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, will host the First Tee Game Changers Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, July 20-24, 2021. First Tee teens attending this five-day learning and empowerment academy will participate in critical conversations around issues of identity, racism, equity and empathy.

The event will feature engaging and interactive workshops facilitated by RISE, a national nonprofit and leader in the sports community championing social justice and working to improve race relations. The workshops will be paired with introspective activities and reflections led by our nationally trained First Tee coaches and keynote speakers from the sports industry including Philadelphia native and PGA TOUR Chief Legal Officer, Len Brown. First Tee – Greater Philadelphia will host the teens for golf outings at John F. Byrne Golf Course where they will continue to build upon their connections with other participants from around the country and hear different perspectives from their peers. The Academy builds throughout the week into a final outreach project in Philadelphia.

“The events of 2020 have reinforced the need for dialogue and to provide a platform for our teens to explore critical topics like diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., has always been an advocate for social justice and I’m proud to carry forward his passion through an event that will empower our participants to be game changers in their community.”

This Academy is an evolution of our longest standing participant event, the Life Skills Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. The enhanced event addresses the challenges our teens face in their daily lives and better equips them to build the strength of character to be game changers in their communities. The Academy honors First Tee’s former CEO, Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., who led the organization from 2000 until his retirement in 2017.

“First Tee has and always will be a program that encourages personal growth and life skill development that young people can take with them wherever they go,” said Barrow. “I’m grateful to be associated with an event that will serve as an important platform for critical conversations on the subject of racial equity. I believe it will have a significant impact on the young people who attend, and ultimately their families and communities.”

First Tee Game Changers Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters designed to inspire and encourage high school students on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. Ninety-six First Tee teens will be selected for this event via an application process that opens Feb. 9.

First Tee is a youth development organization that enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, First Tee creates active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do. These character education programs are offered at golf courses, schools and youth centers in all 50 states and six international locations.

For more information on First Tee, visit www.firsttee.org.

TruGreen Supports First Tee College Scholarship Program, Opening Doors to the Next Generation of Scientific Leaders

Program to provide educational opportunities for the youth of First Tee looking to integrate their passions into science-based careers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (October 13, 2020) – TruGreen, the nation’s leading lawn care provider, and First Tee, a youth development organization using golf as a catalyst for personal growth, today announced a new partnership supporting the expansion of the First Tee College Scholarship Program to include alumni pursuing careers in agronomy, plant science and other science-based professions.

With TruGreen as a Trustee, this program expansion will provide First Tee alumni with valuable opportunities to incorporate their learnings and leadership development into a career in the sciences. First Tee College Scholarship Program pairs First Tee alumni with dedicated, trained adult mentors who help encourage and guide them throughout the college experience, including virtual and in-person meetups. TruGreen associates will serve as mentors and contribute to professional development and educational sessions, helping to share industry knowledge and science-based expertise with the students. The program also provides scholarships up to $5,000 per year for four years, and scholars will receive assistance with internships and full-time employment placement post-graduation.

“At TruGreen, we’re committed to our mission to Live Life Outside through the local expertise we offer our customers along with our contributions to local communities,” said John Cowles, President & CEO of TruGreen. “Our partnership with First Tee allows us to support deserving students across the country as they pursue their dreams of higher education while sharing our love of the outdoors with the next generation of leaders.”

At the end of September, TruGreen previewed its commitment to First Tee with an $80,000 donation to First Tee — Greater Philadelphia to support their Drive for the Future Initiative. With this contribution, the John F. Byrne Golf Club will be transformed into an innovative outdoor classroom, serving as the heart of First Tee’s educational and character development programs in northeast Philadelphia.

“Pursuing a college degree is both competitive and challenging for today’s graduating high school students,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “We’re grateful for TruGreen’s commitment to young adults through our First Tee College Scholarship Program. Through this meaningful partnership, we will be able to support additional First Tee alumni through their college experience while leveraging the vast resources of TruGreen and its dedicated employees.”

First Tee is a youth development organization that enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do. These character education programs are offered at golf courses, schools and youth centers in all 50 states and at six international locations.

Applications will open to First Tee students in early 2021. For more information on First Tee or the First Tee College Scholarship Program, visit firsttee.org.

For more information about TruGreen, visit trugreen.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.