The First Tee of Phoenix Executive Director, Hugh Smith, announced that the organization will open new programming sites at all five City of Phoenix golf courses in 2013 including Cave Creek Golf Club, Encanto Golf Course, Palo Verde Golf Course, Maryvale Golf Course and Aguila Golf Course. Expansion will begin at Cave Creek Golf Club in January of 2013 and will continue with the remaining four courses throughout the year. These five new City of Phoenix courses will join the existing facilities located at Lone Tree, South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow and Falcon Dunes.
“This is an amazing time for us,” said Smith. “The number of Valley youth interested in golf is constantly growing and in order to accommodate that demand we need to expand. By this time next year, The First Tee of Phoenix will have 11 affiliate locations here in the Valley.”
A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, January 5th at Cave Creek Golf Club from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and will include: special guest appearances; a trick shot show from Peter Longo the “King of Clubs”; a junior clinic; free lunch and giveaways for all who attend. Multi-level programming will begin shortly thereafter and will be available year-round, both during the week and on weekends with registration beginning on December 4th. The First Tee of Phoenix—created and supported by The Thunderbirds—is open to all youth ages 7-17 at a modest cost of $60 per year.
“This is a great opportunity for youth in our city to learn valuable life skills as well as golf, especially for those who might not have the opportunity otherwise,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “The future of our city depends on our youth and we need to do everything we can to make sure they have positive experiences and become civic leaders of the next generation.”
The programming sites at each of the City of Phoenix courses are community driven with volunteer assistance coming from the Men’s and Women’s Clubs at each course as well as the surrounding community. Those interested in volunteering can attend one of The First Tee of Phoenix Volunteer Training Session scheduled throughout the year. The training is free of charge and includes details of The First Tee program and The First Tee coaching philosophy. For more details about volunteer opportunities or to RSVP for one of the training sessions, call 602.305.7655.
“As a junior golfer, I was fortunate to play many rounds at Cave Creek Golf Course,” Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates said. “Not only did my game improve as a result of playing golf on City of Phoenix courses, but I also learned many life lessons that I carry with me today. Thanks to this partnership between The First Tee and the City of Phoenix, many more young people in our community will have the opportunity to play golf and experience the countless benefits that the game delivers.”
The First Tee of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created and funded by The Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life, particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play. The organization offers classes, special monthly family events and tournaments throughout the year. With 11 locations in the Valley – South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Longbow, Falcon Dunes, Lone Tree and now all City of Phoenix courses – The First Tee of Phoenix programming sites serve as a place for participants to learn valuable life skills and character lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf. For more information on The First Tee of Phoenix, call (602) 305-7655, or log on to their website at www.thefirstteephoenix.org.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. Consisting of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members, The Thunderbirds host the Waste Management Phoenix Open; the best-attended golf tournament in the world, which to date has raised nearly $80 million for Valley charities, including the First Tee of Phoenix. With its unmatched fan participation and rich history dating back more than 78 years, The Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status for being a unique stop on the PGA TOUR. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, call 602.870.0163 or visit www.WasteManagementPhoenixOpen.com.