Pebble Beach, Calif. (June 12, 2019) – USGA CEO Mike Davis, Vice Chairman of the First Tee Board and former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, and First Tee President Greg McLaughlin came together today at the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach to recognize USGA’s longstanding commitment bringing young people to the game through the First Tee.
The three leaders were joined by two participants from First Tee for a friendly competition in the Junior Experience Featuring the First Tee, an interactive area for kids in families located with this year’s U.S. Open’s Fan Central. Playing in a putting competition, all five helped to earn grant money (courtesy of USGA) for the 10 local First Tee chapters in Northern California (Central Coast, Central Valley, Contra Costa, Fresno, Greater Sacramento, Monterey County, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Silicon Valley and the Tri-Valley).
Davis, Finchem and McLaughlin each sunk their putts to win the competition, splitting the $7,000 between Central Coast, Central Valley, Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento and San Francisco. The remaining four remaining chapters each received $1,000, for a total of $15,000 distributed in USGA-funded grants. Since First Tee’s inception in 1997, USGA has provided more than $26 million in grants to the organization.
The USGA and First Tee debuted the Junior Experience featuring First Tee this week at the U.S. Open to help connect youth attending to the excitement and values associated with golf and First Tee programs offered throughout the country. Highlights of the immersive experience include First Tee’s hands-on putting green, chipping challenge, golf simulator, large-scale coloring wall, photo booth and more. The Junior Experience also includes activations with LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and WGT/Top Dog ESports.
“We are proud to be a part of the fan experience at the 119th U.S. Open Championship, ensuring that kids and families have a great time and opening the doors for them to get involved in the game at one of our 150 chapters nationwide,” said McLaughlin. “We are thankful for USGA’s longstanding commitment to our mission, our chapters and for providing us the ability to introduce golf and the Nine Core Values to more young people each year.”
With the USGA’s support, First Tee’s 10 northern California chapters are reaching more than 35,000 young people annually at more than 120 golf program locations, with support from 2,700 volunteers. Additionally, First Tee has been introduced to more than 750 schools and youth centers reaching thousands of additional kids throughout the state. To learn more, visit www.thefirsttee.org.
More information about The U.S. Open is available at www.usopen.com.
About The First Tee
First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its beginning in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach millions of young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and at other youth-serving locations. Its headquarters are in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, with programs in all 50 United States and select international locations.
About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.