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NORTON, Massachusetts – It’s that time of year again — a time to unite, fundraise and celebrate, all to support the continued growth of the game of golf at the junior level. As we gear up for The First Tee of Massachusetts 13th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Monday, October 28 at TPC Boston in Norton, we want to share some updates on the expansion and positive impact made by The First Tee of Massachusetts. We also want to thank the sponsors who have given back in support of junior golf.
This year’s tournament is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance, Eagle-Level sponsor First Republic Bank; Birdie-Level sponsors Anderson, Bagley & Mayo Insurance, RTD Logistics ROVA and Stadium Vespa; and Par-Level sponsors Alan Macdonald and The First Tee Family and The John D. Mineck Foundation, among many others.
The vast support from this tournament will assist The First Tee of Massachusetts with access to golf courses across the state. It also helps provide golf equipment and financial assistance, allowing youths ages 7-17 from all walks of life the opportunity to participate.
Though the charity tournament is already sold out at 120 golfers, you can still contribute financially to The First Tee of Massachusetts. To donate, CLICK HERE
Schedule of Events
Monday, October 28, 2019
TPC Boston (Norton, MA) – Home of the PGA Tour’s 2020 Northern Trust
10:00 a.m.: Player Check-In and Practice Facilities Open Practice range and putting green will be available to players
11:00 a.m: Shotgun Start Golf, cart, lunch, and player gift bag
Post-Golf: Prizes, Awards, and Light Fare
ABOUT THE FIRST TEE OF MASSACHUSETTS
The First Tee of Massachusetts is the state’s chapter of the international youth development organization The First Tee. Since coming to Massachusetts in 2003, the chapter has introduced the game of golf to over 30,000 youths annually throughout the state, while also implementing the Nine Core Values and Life Skills Curriculum to encourage young people to take the lessons learned in the game and apply them into everyday life. Those values include honestly, integrity, perseverance and sportsmanship.
There are seven green grass locations through the state, as well as after-school and in-school programs. All experience levels are excepted.
“It’s a tremendous entry point for young people to come in and learn about the thrill of not just playing golf but being part of a group that really cares so much about playing the right way and learning to grow the right way,” said Alan Macdonald, the treasurer of the Mass Golf Board of Directors.
To learn about The First Tee’s Code of Conduct, CLICK HERE
The organization has taken a giant leap forward under the leadership of Kyle Harris, who became the Director of Operations of The First Tee of Massachusetts in June 2018. Harris has been coaching for The First Tee since 2012 but is now trying to expand the organization’s reach throughout Massachusetts.
New Locations: Earlier this month, Cranberry Valley Golf Course in Harwich became the seventh green grass program location for The First Tee of Massachusetts. Cranberry Valley has already hosted The First Tee as an after-school program for local middle school students and will open to the public in the spring. Now Cape Cod will have two course locations for The First Tee of Massachusetts.
Harris has also seen the program expand to KOHR Golf in Natick. The other green grass locations are The Links at Mass Golf in Norton, William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park in Boston, D.W. Field Golf Course in Brockton, Hyannis Golf Course on Cape Cod and Fenway Golf Center in Springfield.
Winter Programming: Harris has also created two new winter programs, including one at the Melnea Cass Center in West Roxbury. This allows the organization to teach the Life Skills Curriculum and Nine Core Values, while also playing other fun games while the golf courses are closed.
Level Advancement: On the course, youths of all ages start at the PLAYer level of the program and can progress by demonstrating the Nine Core Values and passing an assessment. Harris has placed an added emphasis on participants advancing to Par and Birdie levels, which place an added focus of self-management and goal setting, respectively. He hopes to add Eagle level, which focuses on resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning, next year. Eagle is one step away from the pinnacle level of Ace.
Training Coaches: Harris, who recently completed Level III First Tee Coach Training, also trains and evaluates coaches throughout the state. The organization also hosts an annual chapter meeting to bring state coaches/board members together for collaboration and training.
Quoting: “This has been a transformational year for our chapter, and I’m extremely excited about the progress we are making,” Harris said. “By adjusting our approach to programming and scheduling, with certification and level advancement becoming a top priority, we are fully embracing The First Tee Life Skills Experience Curriculum and becoming much more closely aligned with the mission and expectations of The First Tee’s national network. There has been so much positivity around these changes from the participants, parents, and coaches, and I’m very proud of the direction we’re going as a chapter.”
ABOUT KYLE HARRIS
Originally from Cape Cod, Kyle Harris, 38, has seen the wide reach of The First Tee program. He began as a volunteer with The First Tee of Utah and began coaching for the organization in 2012.
Harris has since moved back to the Bay State with his wife, Megan, and sons, Luke, 4, and Joshua, 2. As the Director of Operations for The First Tee of Massachusetts, Harris has gotten the state’s chapter more in line with the goals set out nationally. He currently leads the Par and Birdie level classes at The Links at Mass Golf in Norton. He is on the path of becoming a recognized First Tee Coach as well as a certified Chapter Trainer.
”I believe whole-heartedly in the mission of The First Tee and I continue to witness first-hand how this program can make a massive positive impact on all aspects a child’s life,” Harris said. “I have always said the best thing about The First Tee is that if a kid comes to our program for one session, and then never touches a golf club again, at the very least they learned and discussed our Nine Core Values – Respect, Courtesy, Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship, Confidence, Perseverance, Judgement, and Integrity. And that in itself is a huge win. I’m so proud of the work we do and I can’t wait until both of my sons are old enough to join us.”
Throughout the week, we will highlight some of youths who have shined through The First Tee of Massachusetts. Among them is Emily Hunt, a Merrimack College freshman, who graduated Sandwich High School as a national The First Tee Scholar, a distinction award that honors teen participants who excel in academics, leadership, character development, and chapter and community involvement.
Next week’s golf tournament is part of the Liberty Mutual Invitational Series, the nation’s top charity event in golf. The series attracts thousands of golfers across the country and mobilizes support for local charities in hundreds of American communities.
In addition to the support of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Eagle-Level sponsor First Republic Bank, Birdie-Level sponsor Anderson, Bagley & Mayo Insurance and Par-Level sponsors Alan Macdonald and The First Tee Family and The John D. Mineck Foundation, help ensure the success of The First Tee of Massachusetts Charity Golf Tournament. It also would not be possible without the organizations and individuals who have donated their time and money.
They also include:
Par Hole Sponsors