On June 24, 2014, four participants from The First Tee had the exciting opportunity to meet privately with President Obama, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, The First Tee CEO Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., and players from The Presidents Cup 2013. The players were honored at the White House, hosted by the president, who served as Honorary Chairman of the 2013 (and 2009) event.
Drew White, 15, a participant at The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC was one of four junior golfers selected to attend the event. Read his first-hand account of meeting President Obama and some of his golf heroes!
by Drew White, participant, The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC
“Meeting the President of the United States as a representative of The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC was amazing to say the least. When we finally shook his hand it didn’t seem real. He asked how my golf game was, how old I was and what grade was I in. I answered him while thinking about how blessed I was that The First Tee, led by Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., gives these opportunities to ordinary kids like me.
During the President’s Cup presentation, the President acknowledged The First Tee participants and talked about The First Tee being a great program–a memory I will never forget.
Meeting the President’s Cup 2013 team was perhaps the most exciting part. Ernie Els appeared as a bigger-than-life figure. He has an exotic accent and was very easy to talk to.
Brandt Snedeker, who I had met the day before at an RBC Shot for College clinic, saw me looking around the reception room and asked me who I was looking for. I told him Jordan Spieth. He then yelled across the room, “SPIETH!…HEY JORDAN! Come over here and get a picture with your buddy!”
Brandt took a picture for me, and Spieth and I talked for a bit. I had played with Jordan a year earlier in the Perfect Sense Digital Pro Am and had the week of my life following him. I was counting down days to seeing him at the White House. He proved just as good a guy as he is a golfer.
Overall It was an experience I will never forget. The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC’s executive director, Clint Sanchez, and all of the amazing coaches have worked tirelessly to inspire me to not just reach for high golf goals but high life goals–I am so grateful for their encouragement.
I also want to thank President Obama for his hospitality. Getting a chance to meet the President’s Cup team was a highlight of my golfing life. They were all easy to talk to and loads of fun. Especially Spieth and Snedeker.”
Drew was joined at the event with the recently named International Team Vice-Captain K.J. Choi, members of the U.S. Team along with 10 members of the International Team (six were unavailable due to competing in events overseas), and three other participants from The First Tee:
- Kendel Abrams, The First Tee of Baltimore
- Khalil Abrams, The First Tee of Baltimore
- Marin Pena, The First Tee of Greater Washington, DC
The Presidents Cup 2013 U.S. Team Members
The Presidents Cup 2013 International Team Members