When Goals Become Reality: An Amazing Experience for One Junior Golfer

Categories: Golf Channel Highlights
Derrick Ow
Derrick Ow

Why are goals important?

They motivate us.
They help us plan for the future.
They give us purpose.
They make us feel proud and satisfied when we reach them.

Junior golfer Derrick Ow from The First Tee of Monterey County knows all about the importance of having dreams and goals—a life skill we teach at The First Tee. After 16 seizures at the age of two, he lost his ability to speak and doctors said he wouldn’t ever be in a “normal” classroom. As a toddler, Derrick was diagnosed with autism.

Scott Langley, an alumnus of The First Tee, celebrates with Derrik at the RBS Achievers of the Year Award banquet
As a 2014 RBS Achiever of the Year, Derrick met Scott Langley, an alumnus of The First Tee, who currently plays on the PGA TOUR.

Derrick has overcome many obstacles in his life to become the bright, confident and positive young man he is today. His journey and The First Tee’s positive impact on his life was recently highlighted in The First Tee magazine. In the story, he talks about another goal: “to be a sports broadcaster like Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner.”

After the story ran this past fall, Rich Lerner read the piece and was inspired by Derrick, an Eagle-level participant who has attended The First Tee national events including the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Rich wanted to meet this determined junior golfer.

This February, stars aligned and Derrick was selected to be a standard bearer during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am—where Rich happened to be commentating for Golf Channel. A surprise meetings was quickly coordinated.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience meeting one of my idols, Rich Lerner,” Derrick said. “I gained a lot of advice from him. I was truly a little kid in a candy store listening to what advice Rich told me about starting my path to greatness in sports broadcast.”

Junior golfer Derrick Ow meets idol Rich Lerner from Golf Channel
Junior golfer Derrick Ow meets idol Rich Lerner from Golf Channel

The First Tee uses the game of golf to talk to youth about important life skills like setting reachable and measurable goals. What dreams and goals does your child have? Find a chapter today and get your child involved!

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