The First Tee of Greater Houston

The First Tee of Greater Houston – Since 2004

Houston Golf Association holds the charter to The First Tee of Greater Houston (TFTGH), a 501c(3) subsidiary of Houston Golf Association. The First Tee provides educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

As the largest chapter in The First Tee national network, TFTGH is in 465 elementary schools and nine green grass facilities across Houston, and benefits more than 350,000 kids each year. By 2020, the program goal is to extend into every public school across Houston, impacting the lives of more than 500,000 youth.


Pat Weston

Is the liaison between the HGA board of directors and The First Tee™ of Greater Houston Houston board of directors. Active with the HGA since 2003, Weston has previously served as board chairman 2009-2010, secretary 2006-2008, treasurer and chairman of the finance committee 2011-2012, and vice chair of tournament support 2006-2008. He also serves on the finance committee. Formerly president and CEO of a transportation company, he retired in 2000, but is still executive director for World Net Associates.

Mary Bass

A partner with the executive search firm SpencerStuart whose search practice focuses on board and CEO/COO positions. A member of ShadowHawk Golf Club, she served as general chair of the 2005 USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur. She formerly served on the HGA board as an independent director.

Ben Bates

He has been an active member of the HGA since 2004 and has been involved with the The First Tee™ of Greater Houston for the last 10 years. Bates has been one of the Houston Golf Associations and Shell Houston Opens leading salesman for the last several years. He has also served as the Chairman of Will Call for the Shell Houston Open. Bates has worked for Shell Oil Company as a Senior Project Manager for since 1998.

Dr. Norman Berkman

A board certified physician in internal medicine and a leader in the Memorial Hermann Medical Group. He is also a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Medical School. In 2002, he founded the Father’s Day Parent-Child Charity Golf Tournament, which has raised nearly $1.5 million for The First Tee™ of Greater Houston at F.M. Law Park.

Kenneth M. Fisher

Ken Fisher is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Noble Energy, Inc. and has more than 30 years of financial and operational leadership experience. Before joining Noble Energy, Ken served as executive vice president of finance for Shell Upstream Americas. He also served as Royal Dutch Shell’s director of strategy and business development in The Hague, executive vice president of strategy and portfolio for global downstream based in London, and chief financial officer for U.S. Shell Oil Products.

Vanessa Gilmore

Vanessa has been a golfer for more than 20 years and her son, who is now 15, participated in The First Tee program. Vanessa has been an active member of the charitable and civic community in Houston, Texas, and the United States. She believes that the life skills education of The First Tee provides an unparalleled opportunity to reach out to and enhance the lives of children in our community.

Larry Shryock

Senior vice president and COO of W.S. Farish & Company, a private trust company. Previously with JPMorgan Chase Bank for 29 years, he has served on boards of Humble ISD, The Lone Star Community College System, Metropolitan Houston YMCA, University of St. Thomas, and South Texas School of Law.