Home Featured News Expanded First Tee program readies for spring season

Expanded First Tee program readies for spring season

by TG_Admin01

Triad First Tee Locations

Tanglewood Park GC, Clemmons

Salem Glen CC, Clemmons

Jamestown Park GC, Jamestown

Oak Hollow GC, High Point

Greensboro National GC, Summerfield

Winston Lake GC, Winston-Salem

Rick Murphy Golf Academy, Greensboro

Gillespie Golf Club, Greensboro

Indian Valley GC, Burlington

Par-3 Team Golf

Iron Play Par-3 Links

Bur-Mil Par-3

Tanglewood Park Par-3

The First Tee program is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Or at least it seems that way. The Triad Chapter of First Tee began in one location in 2008 and now has programming at nine different venues stretching from Clemmons to Burlington and touching almost every point in between. Four of the locations are offering the spring program for the first time.

And, also for the first time, First Tee has partnered with the Triad Youth Golf Foundation to participate in Par-3 team golf with semi-competitive competition at three area Par-3 courses.

Registration, for young people ages 7 to 18, is already under way for the eight-week spring program that begins the week of March 25. The stated mission of the program is teaching positive life skills that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

“Last year was phenomenal for The First Tee of the Triad, and we have positioned ourselves to be even more effective in 2013,” First Tee of the Triad CEO Mike Barber said.  “In 2012, we were able to impact the lives of almost 800 Piedmont Triad children, but through our additional locations, we hope to reach 1,000 children in 2013.  We now have locations that cover our region from east to west, and that means we can reach more children than ever before.

“More important than the number of kids, though, is the depth and quality of our program as well as the life-changing experiences each individual receives.  All of this positive news is exciting, and we are proud to offer our programming throughout the region.”

Registration for the eight-week program is $75 although scholarships are available for many.

A simple registration process and information on scholarships are available at www.thefirstteetriad.org. Simply click on “registration” to get started; scholarships can be requested during the online registration process.

Volunteers are needed; information on how to volunteer or donate is also available on the First Tee website.

First Tee receives donation from Greensboro man’s foundation

The Walking for Kids Foundation has made a $25,000 donation to The First Tee of Triad.

D.J. Gregory, a graduate of Greensboro Grimsley High School, created the foundation to raise money for his foundation that annually makes donations to children’s causes.

Gregory, 33, has Cerebral Palsy but that hasn’t stopped him from walking every hole of every PGA Tour event. That’s some 1,100 miles a year.

The check presentation to the First Tee was made in February at Sedgefield Country Club, host of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.

“We give to different charities every year,” Gregory said.  “But we’ll always give to three charities for sure: one of them will be a United Cerebral Palsy affiliate because I have Cerebral Palsy, one of them will be a First Tee affiliate because I really believe in what the First Tee embodies as far as teaching life skills to kids through the game of golf, and I’ll always give to a children’s hospital.  Each charity that we give to will deal with children; the mission of my foundation is to help kids achieve their goals and dreams one step at a time. We chose the First Tee of the Triad, in part, because the Wyndham has been a great partner and will be again in 2013.”

Some 46 professional golfers represent Walking For Kids.  Each week, some of those golfers donate a certain amount of money for each birdie or eagle they make during the tournament.  The players decide how much to donate and choose the tournaments in which they play for the foundation, and Gregory walks with the group. The foundation also accepts donations from corporations.

The foundation was started in 2010 but it actually had its roots a couple years earlier.

“In 2008, I walked every event on the PGA TOUR and wrote a blog for pgatour.com,” Gregory said. “I wrote a book about the season called Walking with Friends, an Inspirational Year on the PGA Tour.  ESPN did a feature story on me that has been seen by a lot of people, and I’ve enjoyed media coverage throughout the world.”

Gregory, who has been a fan of the PGA Tour since he attended his first tournament at Forest Oaks Country Club in 1990, has played golf since the age of nine. He hits one-handed from the forward tees and has scored as low as 90.

“DJ’s generous contribution will make it possible for us to continue growing in 2013,” First Tee of the Triad CEO Mike Barber said.  “We’ll have just under 1,000 kids in programs this year, and 50 percent of them will be on scholarship. DJ’s contribution will allow them to participate in our programs this year, and we are eternally grateful to D.J. and Walking For Kids for making this donation.”

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