For many alumni of The First Tee, golf is more than a game. It’s an opporunity to meet new people and experience new things. Alumnus Kyle DiGiacobbe tells us firsthand how the sport has impacted his life, from his career to his friends.
In His Words:
“I was always involved in golf as a kid, playing at the club with my dad on afternoons, and caddying on weekends. When caddying for him, John MacDonald, now retired executive director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, asked me to come down and check out his new facility and The First Tee. I quickly became involved after my first visit, seeing the learning center as a great place to hit balls and practice in the winter, plus meet new kids who were my age and who played golf.
Through The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, I not only met numerous golfers, lifelong friends who I still communicate with, but also had my eyes opened to the golf industry as more than just the PGA TOUR on TV. I was selected to attend two golf and leadership academies hosted by The First Tee, chosen to play in The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, and selected to attend the Future Leaders Forum.
making lifelong friends
I have friends who I met at these events who I still talk to today, almost 10 years later, and have seen them be successful in golf and life. Beau Zastrow, who I roomed with at one of the academies, asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding. We also get together once a year, from across the country, when he can get time off from being a police officer. Kelsey Berg, who I met and keep in touch with, is a Marketing Director with FootJoy and I see yearly at the PGA Show. AJ Newell and I played a practice round at Pebble Beach and still keep in touch with via social media. She just earned status on the LPGA Tour.
Working in the Golf Industry
After these experiences in high school, I knew I wanted a life and career in golf. I moved to Florida for college and tried to walk on to the golf team, but it did not work out. So instead, I got a job at the course next to my university Gand worked there for four years. During college, I was able to secure a USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship with the Pennsylvania Golf Association for the summers of 2012 and 2013, and loved the tournament administration side of the golf business. Following the internship, I was hired in July 2013 by the Florida State Golf Association(FSGA). Now in my fifth season with the FSGA, I am the Director of Men’s Golf, charged with conducting state championship, junior tournaments, USGA qualifiers and numerous other events.
I never thought caddying at 12 and 13 years old would lead to a life where I spend every day surrounded by golf, get to be on a golf course 3 to 5 days a week, and have lifelong friends that I made through this great sport.”
GIVE BACK AND GET INVOLVED
Looking for ways to stay involved with The First Tee after you leave the program? Join The First Tee Alumni Network for a variety of opportunities to network and build your career.