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Sports

Highlighting golf’s value to young
The First Tee Charlotte plays for fun, learning
 
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9:44 am
by Winton Brown, For The Charlotte Post

For some kids, golf is more than just a sport. It’s also opportunity for them to gain life lessons through the game as well.


Young golfers and local celebrities played together Tuesday at the second annual First Tee of Charlotte celebrity golf match at the Dr. Charles L. Stifford Golf Course at Revolution Field. The celebrities, comprised of coaches, public officials and athletes including former Charlotte Bobcat Matt Carroll, teamed up with First Tee participants for a nine-hole match.


One of the goals was to spread awareness about the program and facilities.


“A lot of folks don’t understand or don’t realize that we have such a wonderful place for our kids,” said Ike Grainger, executive director of The First Tee of Charlotte. “We want to get some of the celebrities engaged in First Tee, hopefully going forward once they see what we’re doing.”


The First Tee is an educational program that teaches youth life lessons through golf.  Some of the program’s core values include: confidence, honesty, integrity, and sportsmanship. Charlotte, one of 196 chapters of the national organization, was founded in 2003 and offers after school and summer programs.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe participated in the event. The match gave him an opportunity to interact with the youth.


“These kids not only have great golf skills but great life skills,” said Monroe, who is also a member of First Tee’s advisory board. “The way they’re navigating their way through life, not only on the golf course but through school. You couldn’t be more proud of them.”


Even though many of the program’s members didn’t have the chance to play, they still were able to bond with the players and celebrities.


Christian Curry, 10, was encouraged by his parents to join the organization. For him, the event was a great experience.


“It was really good,” he said.


Moving forward, the program’s goal is to increase its awareness and to gain more participation.


“We see this event growing in the future,” said Kaitlyn Jarman, The First Tee’s marketing and events manager. “We see it perpetuating throughout the year.”
 

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