The Approach

Summer/June 2021

First Tee — Greater Tyler Participants Chosen for National Opportunities

Eagle Participant, Sidney Robertson, selected for
First Tee National Championship

The First Tee National Championship will bring together First Tee’s elite players for an opportunity to showcase how the program has helped build the strength of character needed to play at the collegiate or next level. The winners of each male/female division will be awarded with the Tattersall Cup named after First Tee Trustee, Fred Tattersall. Each winner will earn an exemption into the PGA TOUR Champions’ PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

First Tee National Championship will be a 54-hole stroke-play event at Clemson University’s The Walker Course, featuring a Girls and Boys division for up to 72 high school participants ages 14-19. Participants will have the opportunity to take in the “college experience” including dorm-living, an official Clemson University campus tour and dinner at the West End Zone Club of the football team’s Memorial Stadium.


Eagle Participant, Charles Lu, selected for the
First Tee Game Changers Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr.

At First Tee, we help kids discover what’s inside of them, guide them to strengthen it and mentor them to put it into action in everything they do. Using golf as our platform, we believe in creating spaces of belonging for every kid – no matter what walk of life. The events of 2020 have reinforced this, and the need to do more. This July, we’re hosting a new participant event, First Tee Game Changers Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr.

Participants selected to attend this five-day learning and empowerment academy will participate in important conversations around issues of identity, racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality), a national leader in the sports community championing social justice and working to improve race relations, will facilitate engaging and interactive workshops paired with introspective activities and reflections led by our nationally trained First Tee coaches. The Academy builds throughout the week into a final outreach project in collaboration with DE&I leadership in the local host community.

Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., First Tee’s CEO who retired in 2017 after 17 years of leadership, has always been an advocate for social justice and believes that First Tee has and always will be more than a game to young people. First Tee Game Changers Academy is the ultimate tribute to Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., a fearless champion of change.

This Academy is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters designed to inspire and encourage high school students on a deeper level as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. First Tee Game Changers Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. is an evolution of our longest standing participant event, the Life Skills & Leadership Academy Honoring Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., to address the challenges and experiences our teens face in their daily lives and better equip them to build the strength of character to be game changers in their communities.


Upcoming Events

Grand Opening, Woldert Park Facility: July 17, 2021

The dream of the Tyler Junior Golf Foundation founders is coming to life at the grand opening of the First Tee — Greater Tyler, Woldert Park Facility.  When we moved our main offices to Bullard, our hearts longed to be back in North Tyler serving the kids that visited us while we were at the Boys and Girls Club.  It is amazing that we will be able to see their faces again.  Please join us on July 17th, 11am – 2pm, as we introduce this facility to the community.

Registration for summer camps at Woldert Park is open!  You can register through the parent portal. Camps are: July 12 – 15 and July 19 – 22; 1:30pm – 4:00pm Monday – Thursday for ages 7-14.
Can’t wait to see you there!


2021 Skills Challenge: The Cascades, August 30, 2021

Each year amazing golfers come out to support First Tee — Greater Tyler during our annual tournament.  The 2021 Skills Challenge, “A tournament like no other!”, is being held on Monday, August 30th at The Cascades and is sponsored by Tyler Ford.  Teams will consist of 4 players and play will be a scramble.  With a shotgun start at 8am, Rudy’s BBQ breakfast tacos will be a treat followed-up by a wonderful pull pork lunch after your 18 holes.

Please take a look at our Skills Challenge page for more information about registration and sponsorships.




Summer Camps…

…are in full swing with 4 of the 5 Player weeks at full capacity!  AMAZING!!

Participants learn the importance of the short game, what club works best for each situation, how their character helps them make good choices, and how to interact with other kids at camp.  It is fun to watch these kids learn new things and have fun taking ownership of their skills and creativity.  Register your kiddo today!


Make-up Sessions…

…from the incredibly rainy spring brought participants out to Oak Hurst for fun and games as they finished up their lessons. A few of the kids went home exhausted from all the fun.  I think the Birdie and Eagle kids had the most fun playing Golf Baseball.
























Summer Intern

Walker LaRue may seem like familiar face to you and he should.  Walker has been a part of First Tee — Greater Tyler since 2014 when he started taking classes with us the summer before he started 9th grade.  He chose golf as an extra curricular a little later than most, but worked hard, persevered, and went on to play golf for Oklahoma Christian after he graduated from Whitehouse High School in 2017.  That same year, he participated in the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach where he played with PGA Champions Tour Pro Miguel Angel Martin.

We are excited to have Walker on staff for the summer.
He has fun with the kids and is a great encourager for
those who need a little extra push to persevere through lessons.




First Tee — Greater Tyler makes an impact on the community everyday as we interact with the kids in our programs.  Our work is not about improving your golf score, but about strengthening what your bring to everything you do, including golf. Character is what shines through when choices are made and attitudes are chosen, especially when you think no one is looking.  First Tee — Greater Tyler builds experiences that build character.  We believe in developing experiences that are just as fun as they are meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way next.

Building Game Changers takes a village.  Help us today by making a donation that will make an impact in the lives of young people from all walks of life. Together we can make a difference!

Be a Game Changer Today!