Through the years, golf gear will accumulate in any house, garage, shed or storage area of a golfer. Putters and drivers fall out of fashion or effectiveness and rest in dust corners. Golf balls multiple in bags faster than sox disappear from the dryer. My house is no different so I gathered up all my extra golf gear and saw the pile and thought of what to do with it all. Then I remembered the First Tee organization.
My first exposure to the First Tee was when I played Southbridge Golf Club in Savannah, GA. I had the course to myself one misty morning and planned to fish in water hazards for extra balls. As I teed off, a man appeared walking his dog along the side of the fairway. The pair was out of my way but they stopped at each water trap and the man used his ball retriever to fish balls out. Balls I planned to get. We finally met up along the 4th hole and I asked him what he was up to? He told me:
I don’t play. I donate all the balls I find to the First Tee so the kids can use them instead of buying balls.
Of course, I felt like a heel. I pulled out all the balls I found but would never hit and passed them to the man to add to his generous collection.
The First Tee’s Mission
The First Tee was started in 1997. Here is their mission statement from their website thefirsttee.org:
The First Tee is a youth sports organization whose mission is to grow the game of golf by transforming the experience that kids (and families) have with the sport. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has reached more than 15 million kids, positively impacting their lives. Reaching more than 5 million kids annually, The First Tee offers programs in all 50 states…
What I find impressive is the 9 Core Values First Tee teaches kids through golf:
Very noble in this day and age to teach kids such important character building values. Much like dodgeball, golf doesn’t build character. It reveals it. We should all suport The First Tee and I think helping them equip young golfers is a great start.
My First Tee Donation
I drove out to the Greater Philadelphia First Tee chapter at Walnut Lane Golf Club (which looked like a nice little executive course) to drop off my cache. I ended up handing over:
- 141 golf balls
- 15 golf towels
- 8 hats
- 2 golf shirts
- 1 golf bag
- 1 pair of golf shoes
- 7 clubs including 3 drivers, 2 wedges, and 2 putters.
My gear was added to another stack of gear that would find good homes in the hand’s of kids learning the game of golf. I highly recommend that you clean out your garage as your spouse has been begging you to do and donate your excess gear to The First Tee.
The First Tee Contact Information
For those in Philly Area, here is the contact information for the Greater Philadelphia First Tee: