JP Ray – First Tee Alumnus

What happens when you provide free programs? The results are game-changing. 

With support from Southern Hills Country Club, host of this week’s PGA Championship, First Tee – Tulsa provides free character-building programs to everyone who walks through their door. JP Ray is one of many participants impacted by the program.

Developing Positive Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a great time to check in with yourself and consider how you might be able to support others. 

“Showing up for others means that you are there for someone when they need you,” explained Emma Laker, a participant with First Tee — Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky. “You show kindness by helping others and not just thinking of yourself. You give people the respect they deserve.” 

Mental health challenges can affect anyone – from professional golfers to friends and family. In 2019, a third of high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

All of that is to say: If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. 

Be there for your team and ask for help when you need it 

Emma said it feels good to have people she can count on. “It shows me that I am surrounded by friends and family that love me no matter what. I can look up to my friends and family to help me through the rough times,” she said. 

Who is on your go-to team? Maybe it’s family, friends, teachers and coaches. Building strong relationships is one of the best strategies for improving your mental health, according to the CDC. 

Game Changers seek out good groups of people that lift them up and allow them to feel safe to be themselves. 

If you’re feeling alone, there are organizations that can help

Talk about your feelings 

It takes lots of courage to speak out about mental health issues you may be facing. By sharing your challenges, you’re not only helping yourself but others, too.  

Recently prominent members of the sports world, from Simone Biles to Michael Phelps, have talked about their own struggles and the importance of destigmatizing mental health challenges. No one should feel embarrassed or scared to acknowledge the difficulties they’re facing. 

Talking about your problems is the best way to find help! Some mental health situations do require bigger interventions, which is why it’s important to talk to adults about how you’re feeling. 

Develop a healthy mindset 

As we’ve all seen over the last few years, there are periods when unexpected challenges appear. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many kids experienced the difficulties that come with virtual school, family financial troubles and even losing loved ones.  

Fortunately, there are ways to help prepare for tough times.  

  • Stay positive: Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go perfectly and take a few moments to feel proud of your victories – no matter how small. 
  • Do your best: Giving your best effort helps you realize your capabilities. 
  • Give back: Emma volunteers at her church and school, and it feels amazing, she said. “I realize how extremely lucky and blessed I am to have all the love and support of my family and friends. When I am helping others, I feel like I am giving them some of my joy and happiness.” 
  • Take ownership: It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes but remember that you have control over many of the challenges you face. Practicing problem solving tools like STAR – Stop, Think, Anticipate, Respond – can help you feel empowered when future difficulties arise. 

Building Understanding, Trust and Empathy with Active Listening

Every conversation can be an opportunity to learn something new, build trust with someone, and deepen connections. This happens when we build the skill of active listening and learn to treat listening as an active process – not a passive one. 

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. It’s about being present, listening to understand (not respond), and showing active interest and engagement in the dialogue.  

Why does it matter? 

Active listening is an important skill for all of us to cultivate. Not only is it an important leadership skill, it has been shown to promote mindful thinking, can reduce anxiety and depression, helps build relationships and can promote empathy.  

How do we practice it?

At First Tee, we use a process called A-L-R to help build connection through active listening. This helps us to deepen conversations, keep them going, and get the most out of them. Here’s how A-L-R works:

  • Asking questions: Asking thoughtful questions is not only a way you can keep the conversation going, but it gives you a deeper understanding of the person or topic you are engaging with. 
    • Helpful Tip: Be curious. Try asking questions that dig a bit deeper: How did they feel in that moment? What was going on in their minds during that experience? What would they do differently the next time? These make the conversation richer, rather than closed-ended questions that are typically answered with a simple Yes or No.  
  • Listening to understand: When you ask a question, it is important to listen carefully to what the person is saying. We can sometimes be fixated on what we are going to say next, or when it’s our turn to jump back into the conversation, but try not to think about what you are going to say next.. Your focus is on them and their perspective rather than your own. 
    • Helpful Tip: Make an effort to try to clear your mind first of any distracting thoughts. It can help to jot down a mental or physical note of things on your mind in order to give your full attention. 
  • Reflect & respond to the reply: Keep the conversation going by responding in a way that connects with what they just said. You can try to restate in your own words what the person said, share what you think or feel about it, or ask another open-ended question that connects with what the person just said.
    • Helpful Tip: Show engagement and interest in what they are saying: look them in the eye when they are talking, use body language like nodding your head.


Active listening requires work, but you’ll be surprised at how much reward there is when you approach conversations and communication with this skill. Active listening is just one of the skills we are supporting kids and teens to build at First Tee. Click here to find out more about our programs.

Kylie Porter Chooses Gratitude Despite Life’s Challenges

Kylie Porter (right) alongside fellow First Tee – Canton participant, Ava Kemp.

If you’ve ever met Kylie Porter from First Tee – Canton you would never know all that she has overcome. Kylie has been a fighter since the day she was born. As a newborn, Kylie was transported to the Akron Children’s Hospital NICU as a 4-pound twin. Her parents had a priest called to the hospital to give Kylie her last rights, as they were told she wouldn’t survive. And if by some miracle she was to survive, she would never walk and would experience cognitive delays.

Kylie beat the odds.

Despite the doctor’s diagnosis, she has become a remarkable, intelligent young lady who is grateful to play her favorite sport…golf. Kylie has been a part of First Tee – Canton for more than seven years, where she is known for her amazing smile, positive attitude and hard work. Her parents truly thought they would never see the day and credit First Tee for not only teaching Kylie how to play the game of golf but providing a space where she could develop her character and values such as honesty, respect and acceptance.

“First Tee is more than just learning how to golf. At First Tee – Canton, I learned how important core values are to use everywhere. Not just in the sport of golf, but also in utilizing the values to help guide me in my everyday life. My favorite value is perseverance. In order to pursue your goals in life, you have to persevere and work hard towards your goals.”

Kylie has certainly made her mark at First Tee – Canton.

In 2019, the chapter honored Kylie with their first ever “Bill Hayes Perseverance Award.” In an effort to honor Mr. Hayes, a former volunteer who continued to serve despite his health issues, the award was created to recognize participants that also persevere in life. They believed that Kylie was a perfect fit to receive the first award.

Kylie recognizes how blessed she is and shares her story to advocate for other kids dealing with challenges in their life. Now 14 years old, Kylie has been diagnosed with Stickler syndrome, which contributes to severe hearing loss. However, she doesn’t let this stop her. Kylie uses her platform as a means to motivate young people and encourage them to find confidence despite their hearing loss. She uses social media to spread this message and share her story. Because of her efforts, Kylie was recently honored as a HearStrong Champion through the HearStrong Foundation.

She wants to inspire kids and teens with hearing loss and one day be an audiologist to help others like herself.

Kylie, you inspire us to learn and grow from our challenges.

In this season of thankfulness, we are grateful for our donors and supporters who help lift up our mission so we can reach young people like Kylie. This holiday season, when you donate to a First Tee chapter, they’re eligible for matching dollars, up to $1 for every $2 you donate, thanks to a matching grant program from Charles R. Schwab.  Find a chapter to donate today and join our mission to empower young people to build their strength of character through golf.

4 Ways To Encourage Positive Thinking In Kids

We all deal with highs and lows in life. Even as kids, we experience a variety of emotions that have a direct impact on our choices, and the way we think about ourselves. A bad experience can result in negative thinking which can be detrimental to a young person’s self confidence and outlook on life. That’s why positive thinking is so powerful— not just for adults but kids as well. Maintaining a positive attitude can be challenging at times, but through practice and encouragement it becomes a skill that can shape and transform young lives.

Just as you exercise your swing before hitting the ball, it’s important to practice things that can promote positive thinking. Our minds are valuable tools, and maintaining a healthy and positive headspace can improve confidence and drive in all aspects of life.

Here are four ways that you can encourage positive thinking in your kids:

  1. Always Give Your Best Effort – Parents and mentors should encourage kids to give their best effort as often as possible. At First Tee, we believe that it is important to help kids show up to the challenge, and develop the resilience and inner strength needed to give their best effort on and off the golf course. If kids can give their best effort in all of their endeavors, they will be able to realize what they are truly capable of. This can directly improve their confidence, and help them develop a positive attitude about the world around them.
  1. Give Back To Your Community – Giving back to your community, or causes that you care about is another great way to maintain a positive mindset. Volunteering can help your family connect with others who hold similar values and beliefs. Even activities as simple as tutoring someone on the weekend, or pulling a neighbor’s weeds can have a tremendous effect on the community you live in. When kids can see that their actions can make a positive difference in the world, they will be more likely to feel positively about themselves, and their community.
  1. Practice Positive Self-Talk – Parents and mentors should show kids the importance of being gentle with themselves and others. A great way to help kids develop this skill is to tell them to talk to themselves as if they are talking to their best friend. If they wouldn’t say something mean to their friend or loved one, they shouldn’t say it to themselves. The way we think directly impacts our behavior and feelings about the world. If kids can think positively about themselves, they will likely feel the same way about the world around them.
  1. Take Ownership & Responsibility For Your Actions – Helping kids realize they have control over the outcomes of the challenges they face can help build confidence and reduce overall anxiety. Reducing anxiety and practicing problem-solving skills at a young age can have a huge effect on how their mindset develops through the rest of their lives. Raising confident kids is one of the best ways to help encourage positive thinking.

First Tee guides kids and teens to strengthen what’s inside them and put it into action. It’s a priority for us to show young people the value of caring for their social and emotional wellness. So when they step up to the next shot, math test, or presentation they have the strength to move forward, aim further, and finish stronger than the last time.

If you are interested in getting your child involved with First Tee, you can learn more and sign up today.

Taking on Challenges

Taking on Challenges

Experiences can be some of our greatest teachers, and there are a variety of learning opportunities ahead for parents and students alike. While some will be fun and exciting, others may be challenging or difficult to navigate. Without practice or understanding, some of these new experiences are likely to leave students feeling overwhelmed and stressed. However, if you can help your student choose to see every experience as one that can build character, they’ll always come out better equipped for whatever comes next.

We believe in developing experiences that are just as fun as they are meaningful. As a result, our students are empowered by new challenges which result in continuous personal growth and essential character development.

Going back to school is the perfect opportunity to practice growing through challenges. To help parents and students navigate their back-to-school transition, we’ve developed a few tips to help them get ready.

  • Use STAR
    • S stands for STOP and take a deep breath.
    • T stands for THINK of all your choices.
    • A stands for ANTICIPATE what could happen (good or bad) as a result of your choice.
    • R stands for RESPOND by selecting the best choice for what to do.
  • Identify Challenges and Support
    • Ask your child to identify challenges for specific subjects and social interaction
    • Work with them to create a list of people they can lean on for support

Each of these steps can plant seeds of mindfulness as students go through everyday life. Taken directly from our First Tee programs, where we prepare kids to face new experiences by helping them to identify their support team, reflect on their opportunities, and strengthen what they bring to everything they do. We define strength of character as the self-confidence to show up to the challenge, the resilience to keep going when you fail, and the inner strength to do the right thing even when it’s the hard thing to do. It’s what will allow your child to walk away from failure determined, not defeated.

With our over 20 years of experience, we’ll continue developing experiences that build character to empower kids and teens through a lifetime of new challenges and continuous personal growth. This way your kids will never face a challenge they can’t go through or grow through. To learn more about getting your child involved with First Tee, you can find a chapter near you today!

The Impact Of Having A Good Mentor

Having someone that you can look up to and go to for support is one the most important things a kid can have. Mentors give youth (and even adults) the confidence they need to confront challenges and come up with their own solutions. They provide a safe place for kids and teens to be themselves and have fun, while also learning valuable life skills.  

A great mentor has many traits— they can be a role model, cheerleader, policy enforcer, advocate, and friend to the students they work with. First Tee mentors have a sincere desire to be involved with their students, and treat them with respect. They practice active listening skills and empathy, while also seeking solutions and opportunities for those they work with. 

We celebrate each of our coaches, and recognize them for the unique role they play in young lives. In fact, research shows that First Tee participants think of their coaches as more than just teachers and counselors, but real mentors who have made a positive difference in their lives. 

Here are four ways a mentor impacts their mentees that were inspired and created by what our junior golfers have to say about their coaches:

1. Mentors show that you can never stop learning

They are always growing and showcasing that to their mentees who can feel inspired by how they adapt to life’s challenges.

“I constantly heard that sport emulates life, and life emulates sports. I didn’t understand this concept until I started the First Tee program. Through this sport, I learned accountability and responsibility for my actions and how to respond to adversity.  These lessons have affected my thinking about the impact I have on those around me and how important it is for me to strive to be my best self.”  – Quincy Crawford, participant, 2021 Scholar

2. Mentors help inspire students to be game-changers

Not just for themselves, but in their everyday lives and especially with their peers.

“Having an amazing mentor through the First Tee who I have developed a strong relationship with has inspired me to help others find mentors that can help them through their education and career.”Remi Shendell, participant, First Tee Scholar

3. Mentors teach the importance of active listening

Not only do they offer support, but they show how valuable it can be to listen to someone in both good and bad times.

“Coach Mary Beth McGirr has been a major influence in my life, helping me with golf and with learning critical life skills that will aid me throughout my life. She took me under her wing and has been a shining example for me to follow. Additionally, as a woman, she has been an amazing mentor and example of a strong, confident female for me to look up to and admire. Coach Mary Beth has been one of my biggest fans and encourages me to do my best. She takes time to talk about my golf, life, family and personal struggles. She has been an excellent example of a strong leader and businesswoman who consistently gives back to the game and the community.” –  Alyssa Caraballo, The First Tee of Roanoke Valley

4. Mentors guide students to lead by example

It’s easy to tell someone what to do, but more impactful to give students the tools and examples they need to come to their own solutions.

“Coach Donnie Caldwell, PGA has given me great advice with my golf but more importantly, in my life. He has told me ‘make choices today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow.’ I used to just make choices that seemed the easiest or most convenient. But now I take time to think about those big decisions and how my choices may also affect others. Without him and his advice, I don’t know where I would be with my life, and that’s scary. He has made me a better person and he has shown me how to make the most of my life.” – Braxton Caldwell, First Tee of Pine Mountain

As you can see, the impact of a great mentor is one of our strongest tools in life. Our mentors work to guarantee students that there is someone who cares about them and who will assure them they are not alone in dealing with challenges. Offered at more than 1,200 locations, our program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches, or as our participants say— mentors! 

Check with your local chapter about how you can become a mentor to a junior golfer in your community.

6 Ways To Show Up For Others

We believe character is learned, cultivated, and shaped by our experiences. At First Tee,  we focus on taking the valuable lessons learned on the course, and applying them to everyday lives at school, at home, and in our communities. We believe that part of being a good leader and becoming a game-changer involves showing up for others whenever possible. Here are six ways that you can encourage your child to show up and help others: 

At Home

  • Encourage them to help with household chores. By taking on important tasks around the house, they can help  maintain a clean space for themselves while alleviating stress on the whole family. Handling household chores develops a sense of personal responsibility, time management, and can build leadership skills.
  • Have them dedicate time to helping their younger siblings with homework. By spending time teaching their siblings, they can strengthen their relationships with each other, and exceed in their classes. Teaching others often builds intelligence and increases confidence.

In The Community

  • Encourage your child to help individuals in the community. By helping vulnerable members of the community, your child can make a real difference in their lives. Additionally, helping others will help teach your child compassion and empathy, two qualities of good leaders.
  • Sign them up to volunteer for a local nonprofit with ties to the community or neighborhood. Volunteering is typically a social activity, which will help build connections with other locals that are likely to share similar interests and values. Volunteering locally will also provide a sense of personal satisfaction, and will make your child  feel more connected to their community.

At School 

  • Suggest tutoring a struggling classmate. Teaching others is oftentimes the best way to understand a topic yourself. By tutoring others, your child will have the opportunity to show compassion and build relationships, while also helping them to better understand the material and become more self confident.
  • Encourage your child to befriend anyone who may be new to the community or struggling socially. By befriending classmates who are having trouble making friends, your child can empower them and help build their confidence. This simple act of kindness can play a major role in making other students feel included and more engaged at school. 
These six suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can teach your child to show up for others. Our coaches and staff at First Tee encourage you to practice some of these suggestions, and come up with your own. We guide kids and teens to strengthen what’s inside  and put it into action. If you are interested in getting your child involved with First Tee, you can learn more and sign up today! 

Quick 9: Denise W

Mentoring

Denise W, First Tee – San Francisco 

1. Why is mentorship important?

It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed, especially since we now live in an extremely fast-paced world where expectations for us are very high, so having a mentor to guide us through our development process is definitely reassuring.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

Listening and being able to communicate effectively are qualities that make someone a good mentor. With such qualities, a mentor will be able to offer constructive feedback which will aid in a mentee’s future development.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

My mom has definitely been the most impactful mentor for me.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

From my mom, I learned that no matter what the circumstances are, hard work pays off. My mom immigrated to the U.S. in hopes to find better future prospects for the family and despite not knowing any English, she still continued to work hard in the U.S. to achieve her goals. In the end, all of her hard work and efforts paid off because she was able to provide the basic necessities for our family and grant my siblings and I access to a higher education.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

My mom always tells me, “Don’t be afraid of failure. Just go for it!” These are words that I will always remember because they encourage me to try new things, even if I don’t necessarily succeed. It’s a way of telling me that failure is a learning experience and if I fail, I can keep trying.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Yes, I have grown as a result of my mom. Her guidance has helped me become more disciplined and more open to new experiences and opportunities. Without her, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

For me, being a mentor is very meaningful and fulfilling because not only am I able to help others, I am also able to develop myself further as a leader.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Find someone who cares about you and is willing to take the time out of their busy day to listen to your needs and help you.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that both the mentor and mentee are learners. Both rely on each other as a resource for new perspectives and knowledge. It’s not a one way relationship where only the mentor is helping the mentee.

Quick 9: Ricky L.

Mentoring

Ricky L., First Tee – Tri Valley

1. Why is mentorship important?

Mentorship is important because it allows a chain of knowledge and wisdom from years of experience from mentors to be passed down to mentees, unlocking their potential. Mentorship gives underprivileged students guidance to take control of their own life.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

A great mentor is someone who has as much common ground with the mentee as possible, such as similar circumstances, college, passions, and career trajectory. More importantly, a great mentor actively listens to the mentee, providing insightful feedback, advice, or opportunities in return.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

The mentor I have been paired with from the First Tee Scholarship, Jim Smith from Morgan Stanley, has been an amazing mentor, a key guide through all my academic, career, and spiritual difficulties.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

Through our monthly discussions together over the past year, Mr. Smith has given me an abundance of wisdom from his years of experience in becoming a Senior Wealth Portfolio Manager. Also, his advice has helped me get past my choice paralysis in deciding career pathways and majors in college.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

When I hear about Mr. Smith’s stories of his journey in finding, developing, and maintaining both a loyal client basis and talented team through ups and downs, I am inspired. Additionally, Mr. Smith provides so many life tools, advice, and books/video recommendations to help me stay on a healthy path and achieve career goals.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Because of Mr. Smith, I have learned to prioritize my different goals and face my reality with a clear mind. Although remaining open to life, I truly want to serve the world, my community, and my family while also pursuing my passions in computer science, finance, and fitness.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

Being a mentor to someone is a true honor to me because I can impact someone’s life so personally. I am in Harvard’s Chinese Student Association, and as a sophomore, I am a mentor to freshmen paired with me. Although it can be worrying wondering if you are providing value to your mentees, remember that simply listening and sharing your experience can help them out.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Be open to all mentors, even if they may not align with you in certain aspects such as passions, hobbies, career path, or academic major. Hearing a different perspective may change your mind and open new pathways that you may have not considered. Listen to what your mentor truly has to say and keep asking questions.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that mentorship comes from a genuine care to better the world and your community, and that most often, mentees become mentors to future generations. Mentorship keeps the spirit of the First Tee alive as older students come back to volunteer their time to help their chapters.

Looking Back on the First Tee Leadership Summit

This August, we held our first ever First Tee Leadership Summit in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch in Montana. This event took place for two weeks, bringing together 20 teens each week from across the country to develop leadership skills through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities. Through collaborative workshops, First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience played a huge part of the experience, to explore the concepts of relationship building, positive risk taking, and character evaluation. We recently caught up with participant Benjamin Parris from First Tee – Denver to hear how this year’s event impacted him.

Benjamin Parris, First Tee – Denver

In Denver, I often hear the amazing experiences fellow participants have when they return from First Tee national events. Until the first week of August 2021, I had never experienced one for myself and I was not quite sure what to expect when I was selected for The First Tee Leadership Summit in Partnership with the PGA TOUR Superstore at Mr. Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I knew it would be a special week as I was immediately greeted by fellow participants and alumni chaperones. When we arrived at West Creek, even more participants were eager to greet us and introduce themselves. I knew I had formed relationships almost immediately, and those only got better as the week went on. At the summit, we got to participate in activities such as horseback riding, archery, white water rafting, and other spectacular outdoor experiences. Also, during our days, we had the opportunities to listen to guest speakers like Dick Sullivan (CEO of the PGA TOUR Superstore), Ralph Stokes (the PGA TOUR Superstore’s Director of Partnership Marketing and former University of Alabama running back), Joe Shepard (a PGA TOUR Superstore Regional Manager), Stacie Monks (a PGA TOUR Superstore District Manager), and our keynote speaker Michael Vick (former NFL quarterback). We learned lessons in values, teamwork, skill sets, representation, and more. Each day at the summit had a different theme. Our themes were: “relationships are the foundation for leadership,” “positive risk taking,” and “my character is me.” While our speakers were able to give us insightful words and stories on these themes, we learned just as much from our outdoor experiences as we did from our speakers. On Tuesday, we focused on relationships and how trust is the foundation of every successful relationship. After hearing from Dick Sullivan and Michael Vick, six participants, including myself, departed for the ropes course while everyone else elected to horseback ride. When we arrived, we immediately had to build a relationship as we picked partners to ascend on a partner climb up a 30-foot wooden ladder. My partner Sam Gibbs from the First Tee of Fort Worth deserves a quick shoutout for putting her trust in me all week from the second we became partners at the ropes course. On Wednesday, we worked on taking positive risks. My first risk of the day was waking up at 6:30 after a late night to go on a sunrise hike. Let me tell you, the views in Montana were spectacular, it was very much worth the risk of not sleeping in. Later that day I took another risk by going on a 3-hour horseback excursion, by far the longest I had ever been near another animal, besides my dog at home. My biggest takeaway from learning about positive risks were to approach people who think differently than you so you can challenge your own thinking and to seek out your own mentorships. On Thursday, our final full day at the summit, we did a lot of self-reflection while thinking about how to own our characters. Stacie Monks began the day after another gorgeous sunrise hike. She posed the following question to all the participants. “What type of leader do you want to be?” She went onto discuss how to create a culture when you are leading others and how to empower them. Later that morning we had perhaps the hardest task of the entire summit, but also to me the most impactful. We were asked to complete this phrase. “This is what I believe about myself as a leader…” This wasn’t a simple sentence to complete, and to really answer the question, it required more than just a few sentences. To complete the thought, I had to reflect upon all the things I had been through that week at West Creek. I had to think about climbing with a partner, taking leaps of faith, the inspiration I had received from our speakers and workshops, and what I had learned from all the people around me. Later that evening, we sat around the fire pit as we listened and shared all 18 of us has discovered about ourselves as leaders. My favorite part of the leadership summit was the comradery all of the participants formed. I got the opportunity to make 17 new friends, who over the course of the week felt like family. I know that I’ll be keeping in touch with them for years and years to come and can’t wait until I can see them again. For me, the week made me feel like a true member of the greater First Tee family. I had never met a fellow participant from outside of Colorado, but now I feel like I’m connected to the First Tee everywhere I go. I can’t wait to stay involved with the program as I go to college and beyond. I want to thank the First Tee, PGA TOUR Superstore and West Creek Ranch staff one final time for giving me what was truly a life changing experience. The programming was phenomenal, and the experiences were irreplicable. I came back home truly knowing what type of leader I am and how I can continue to grow as a leader. I can’t wait to apply what I learned in Montana to our local programs in Denver as well as other extracurriculars I participate in. I feel honored that I was a part of the inaugural summit.

Drive, Chip & Putt Local Qualifier – Lula Rivera Advances!

Each summer, local youth golfers in the Greater Wilmington test their skills at the local Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier at Country Club of Landfall. It presents a stage for the participants to showcase their skills but also be able to manage their nerves and emotions. First Tee – Greater Wilmington had 10 participants entered into the DCP at Country Club of Landfall this year. One of those participants, Lula Rivera, advanced to the regional qualifier at UNC Finley on July 21st! Lula scored a total of 70 points, which was enough to place in 3rd and advance to the next round! Lula was competing in the Female 14-15 Age Group with 8 other golfers. What a huge accomplishment!! We give our biggest congrats to her and wish her the best of luck on July 21st at UNC Finley Golf Course. Other notable First Tee – Greater Wilmington Participants: Cooper Moss – Finished 2nd in the chip portion of her age division For more information about what the Drive, Chip & Putt competition is, click here.