Category: The First Tee™ of Greater Houston
First Tee of Greater Houston’s top priority is the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and employees spanning our service area of Harris and the contiguous counties. We have been monitoring all available information related to the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19. We currently do not plan on cancelling any scheduled classes, but did make the decision to cancel the 2020 Champions Challenge scheduled on April 4 at F.M. Law Park. We will continue to monitor local, state and national Departments of Health to determine local risk and plans to help prevent the spread the illness. We do encourage any participant, parent or volunteer that is not feeling well to heed the advice of health officials and avoid contact with others. We also recommend to everyone to follow hygiene precautions from the CDC and other health agencies. We will continue to monitor local, county and CDC information and change our Chapter’s activities as warranted.
The Houston Golf Association holds the charter for The First Tee of Greater Houston, the largest chapter in The First Tee national network. TFTGH is in 514 elementary schools and 12 outdoor (or “green grass”) facilities across Houston – serving more than 350,000 kids each year. How does the HGA do it?
Although we have dedicated staff, the reach and impact could not be as meaningful without the help of dedicated volunteers. Working with children from all over Houston, HGA volunteers are making a huge difference. One such volunteer is Lee Bellows. Lee, an engineer at HP, has volunteered many of his Saturday mornings at the BlackHorse Location of The First Tee since 2012.
“It’s one of those things where you think, ‘I’ll give it a try and see how it goes,’” Bellows says of getting started. “And I just had no idea how much I’d love it. The kids are great and they are really into it. You get caught up in their enthusiasm.”
Bellows has come to enjoy it so much he’s taken courses to become a certified coach. But, as he points out, it’s not so much about teaching beginners how to swing a club or hit the best shot, it’s about the core values of the game.
“We incorporate the nine core values in everything we do with them,” he said. “We talk about honesty, integrity, respect, and show them exactly what we mean and how it’s an integral part of the game of golf – and great life lessons for them. What were you doing while this guy over here was getting ready to hit the ball? Did you move yours closer? So what’s the fun in that?”
Bellows says what really makes it worthwhile for him is enthusiasm, growth and appreciation the participants express.
“You might think these young kids would rather be at home on an early Saturday morning playing video games,” he said. “It’s great to get them outside and engaged in an activity that involves other children that they might not know.”
“Some of these kids come from challenging backgrounds and environments, so they love some positive attention from adults, teaching them how to play a game many of them never thought they’d want to play. And they appreciate it so much and it shows. As a coach and volunteer, that’s what makes it so rewarding, and why I keep getting up early each Saturday.”
The First Tee offers a wide array of volunteer opportunities, and many don’t involve early Saturday mornings. Thanks to The First Tee’s wide reach in the Houston area, you can find a volunteer opportunity with a convenient time and place. Interested? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 281-454-7000. You can see for yourself why volunteers like Lee Bellows continue to dedicate every Saturday morning.
HOUSTON, TX (December 5, 2016) – The Houston Golf Association is expanding The First Tee of Greater Houston to better serve the Houston community. The First Tee, a nonprofit whose mission is to teach children core values, wellness and life skills through the game of golf, announces the addition of 38 new schools in its National School Program (NSP) beginning this semester and the addition of a new green grass facility at Battleground Golf Course in Deer Park. With this expansion, funded by the Houston Golf Association with proceeds from the Shell Houston Open and the new PGA TOUR Superstore, the Greater Houston chapter will serve the largest number of youth in The First Tee’s worldwide network.
Since 2004, the Houston Golf Association has held the charter for The First Tee of Greater Houston. By providing learning facilities and educational programs that build character, The First Tee enables students to develop skills including sportsmanship, respect and confidence while learning the game of golf. Programs take place onsite at schools as well as at, now, nine green grass facilities: Battleground, David Shindeldecker Campus (at Golf Club of Houston), Blackhorse, Quail Valley, F.M. Law Park, Sharpstown, River Plantation, Gus Wortham and Beacon Lakes Golf Courses.
The First Tee of Greater Houston serves 455 local schools and impacts more than 300,000 youth through its programs. By spring 2017, that number will grow to include an additional 26,000 students. New school districts joining the program include Alvin ISD, Brazosport ISD and Klein ISD. They join school districts already represented in the program including: Cy-Fair ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Conroe ISD, Crosby ISD, Humble ISD, Aldine ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Houston ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Alief ISD, Dickinson ISD, Galena Park ISD, Sheldon ISD, Spring ISD, Stafford MSD, Texas City ISD, Waller ISD, Willis ISD, Pasadena ISD, Huffman ISD, Katy ISD, Deer Park ISD, Pearland ISD, KIPP, New Caney ISD, Harris County Department of Education, and three private schools. In addition to the volume of schools, The First Tee of Greater Houston is expanding its green grass locations. Projections for 2017 forecast two new green grass sites throughout the year, bringing the total number from nine to 11.
“Thanks to the proceeds raised through the Shell Houston Open, new corporate partners and donors, we are able to expand our program into many new school districts in the Greater Houston area,” said Doug Earle, executive director of The First Tee of Greater Houston. “What excites us is that our impact on local youth is growing significantly. By teaching them wellness and character development through the game of golf, we are giving them skills that will last a lifetime.”
The program has flourished due to significant donations from the Shell Houston Open, in partnership with the Houston Golf Association. Since 1974, the two organizations, alongside volunteers, have been able to raise $64 million for local organizations—many of which benefit youth programs like The First Tee.
“Every year, we view our growth of the Shell Houston Open akin to investing back into the city of Houston and its surrounding communities,” said Steve Timms, president and CEO of the Houston Golf Association, president and CEO of The First Tee of Greater Houston and tournament director of the Shell Houston Open. “The Shell Houston Open continues to raise millions of dollars to support programs that are educating our future leaders and giving thousands of children a chance at a brighter future.”
The Shell Houston Open, the 10th longest running tournament on the PGA TOUR, will be played at Golf Club of Houston from March 27-April 2, 2017. Net proceeds from ticket sales will benefit The First Tee of Greater Houston and other core charities.
HOUSTON GOLF ASSOCIATION
For 70 years, Houston Golf Association has organized high-profile professional and amateur golf events in the Greater Houston area to support its mission to make a difference in Houston and in the lives of youth through its charitable programs. The HGA, a not-for-profit, tax exempt 501c(3) organization, is a prolific charitable fundraiser, bolstered by a strong group of members and volunteers. Visit www.hga.org for more information.
THE FIRST TEE OF GREATER HOUSTON
The Houston Golf Association holds the charter to The First Tee of Greater Houston. The First Tee is dedicated to impacting the lives of young people in the Greater Houston area by providing learning facilities and educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The largest chapter in the world-wide network, The First Tee of Greater Houston operates nine green grass learning facilities across Houston and reaches more than 300,000 youth. The program is currently offered at 455 schools, and by 2020, the program goal is to extend into every public school across Houston, impacting the lives of more than 500,000 youth. Visit www.thefirstteegreaterhouston.org
HOUSTON, TX (Sept. 20, 2016) – Local teens Scott Shuster and Stephen Boyd represented The First Tee® of Greater Houston at the 13th annual Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, a PGA TOUR Champions event. The professional player field included World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer and two-time major championship winner John Daly.
Shuster was paired with professional Kirk Triplett and Boyd partnered with major championship winner Mark O’Meara during the 54-hole tournament.
Schuster has been a member of The First Tee since 2008. Originally from The First Tee of Pasadena, Calif., Scott transferred to the Greater Houston chapter in 2015 and is now a junior at Morton Ranch High School. Selected to participate in the pre-tournament Coca-Cola Champions Challenge event, Scott teamed with professional Billy Andrade to help earn a $4,000 donation for The First Tee of Greater Houston.
Boyd has been a member of The First Tee of Greater Houston since 2012 and is a junior at Langham Creek High School. Both Scott and Stephen are Ace level participants in the program.
Schuster and Boyd were selected to participate in the internationally televised event by a national panel of judges who evaluated playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and character education learned through their involvement with The First Tee. The juniors were teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs in tournament play on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course.
The First Tee of Greater Houston is one of 165 chapters worldwide. Serving the Houston community since 2004, more than one million local young people have been impacted through chapter programs and The First Tee National School Program. The golf-based programs are focused on building character through The First Tee Nine Core Values®: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.
The First Tee™ of Greater Houston is expanding its program to better serve the Houston community. The nonprofit, whose mission is to teach children core values, wellness and life skills through the game of golf, is happy to announce the addition of 70 new schools in its National School Program (NSP) beginning this semester. This expansion, funded by the Houston Golf Association through proceeds from the Shell Houston Open, will continue to serve the largest number of youth through The First Tee™ of Greater Houston chapter in the organization’s worldwide network.