Youth from the after-school program Beyond the Bell enjoyed a kickoff clinic featuring Korn Ferry Tour player and First Tee alumnus Chase Johnson yesterday
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2021) – First Tee, a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, will begin offering programs to Los Angeles-area youth in Spring 2022. More than 50 kids participated in a kick-off event at Chester Washington Golf Course featuring Korn Ferry Tour player and First Tee alumnus Chase Johnson. [Photos and broll are available here.]
“Los Angeles is such an important community, and we are pleased with the progress underway to relaunch our programs next spring,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “As evidenced by the young people who attended yesterday’s event, we feel confident that we will open doors and make an impact on the youth we serve here. Special thanks to Chase for participating in the event and ESPN for their support.”
“Because of First Tee I’ve had all the opportunities to play collegiate golf, get to the Korn Ferry Tour and prepare to go to the PGA TOUR,” Chase said. “Anything is possible with the support of caring mentors and role models like the First Tee coaches I had growing up at First Tee — Akron, whether it’s playing golf at the professional level and pursing a professional career.”
First Tee is a national youth development organization with approximately 150 chapters nationwide and in select international locations. The program is delivered at golf courses, in schools and through after-school partnerships, and is designed to empower youth to build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that they can carry to everything that they do, including school.
First Tee — Los Angeles will begin offering programs next spring at golf courses in South L.A. and will expand throughout Los Angeles County in the coming years. Coaches will partake in First Tee’s coach training program, which is built on research-proven methods of positive youth development and will provide them with the tools to make kids feel safe, included and empowered.
Beyond programs offered locally, participants who advance through the program will be eligible to apply for national participant opportunities hosted by First Tee Headquarters. From being mentored by PGA TOUR Champions players at Pebble Beach to a College Scholarship Program that provides support through personal and professional development workshops and mentorship, the national opportunities invite high school students to expand horizons, meet new people and open the doors to new experiences as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.
The announcement was made yesterday during a kick-off clinic held at Chester Washington Golf Course. Sponsored by ESPN, a First Tee Trustee, Johnson hosted the clinic for 50 youth from Beyond the Bell, an after-school program focused on providing high quality, safe and supervised programs for students in Los Angeles. The students, many of whom have not played the game of golf, had hands-on opportunities to swing a golf club in a setting that empowers them to embrace challenge and try something new.