The First Tee uses the game of golf to provide positive youth development for elementary, middle and high school students. But do our junior golfers continue to use The First Tee’s core values and life skills after they leave high school?
Let’s take a look at Louis Kelly. An alumnus of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, Kelly is now a senior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is an integral part of the golf team and recently claimed the Individual Title at the Miramont Invitational in Bryan, Texas.
After an opening round score of 69 (-3), Kelly started off the second day of the tournament with six birdies in a row. His precise putts and skillful shots led him to victory with a one-stroke lead over the competition.
“It’s quite fitting for Louis to pick up his first tournament win,” reported head coach Theo Sliman. “He had a good start to the season, but he struggled the last couple times out,” he added.
After managing a score of 69 during both rounds of the tournament, Kelly doubled his record of rounds in the sixties, making his total four. He’s also earned three top 10 finishes just this fall.
“Louis and I had a conversation a couple days ago about what we needed to see from him both from a leadership standpoint and with his play,” Sliman informed, “and he responded in the best possible way.”
Coach Sliman shared that he was very proud of the way Kelly competed at the Miramont Invitational. But, in reality, Kelly’s impact on the team goes beyond strong scores.
“I’m really pleased by his leadership and the role he is taking off of the golf course,” beamed Coach Sliman.
Because values like sportsmanship, perseverance and judgment have been reinforced in Kelly through The First Tee, he’s been able to lead his college team exceptionally.
During his time at The First Tee, Kelly was selected to participate in the 2010 First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and the Life Skills and Leadership Academy in 2008.
Louis Kelly is proof that kids and teens really are given firm foundations through the The First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits that will stay with them through the rest of their lives. Kelly is one of many examples of participants of The First Tee who have gone on to excel both on and off the golf course.