The History of American Golf Meets the Future of American Golf

A NOTE FROM THE FIRST TEE OF GREATER RICHMOND

Dear Friends, I’m writing to you today to share some wonderful news regarding the future of The First Tee of Greater Richmond. Last night, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a proposal we made to lease Belmont Golf Course from the county for the next 20 years. Beginning Jan. 1, The First Tee of Greater Richmond will take over the operation and management of Belmont, the only golf course in Virginia to host a PGA major tournament. This incredible opportunity – made possible by the generous support of a group of dedicated donors – aligns perfectly with our vision to strengthen the character of our community and our mission to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. It also affords us the chance to impact more of Central Virginia’s youth from all walks of life. While we already reach more than 23,000 Henrico County youth in 44 schools through our National School Program, we expect to grow enrollment of Henrico County children and teens in our Life Skills Experience Program by more than 700. Because of our successful and longtime partnerships with Chesterfield County and the City of Richmond, we see this partnership as a perfect fit. Over the coming months, we will be transforming Belmont not only to fit the needs of our programming, but also to create a community-focused, inclusive and affordable golf facility for all ages and skill levels. We’ll be adding a driving range, a short-game practice area, a six-hole short course and a putting course to pair with a reimagined 12-hole championship course that celebrates the legendary design of course architect A.W. Tillinghast. We’ve enlisted Love Golf Design, led by former PGA star Davis Love III, to help us fulfill our vision for Belmont. Simply put, we envision Belmont to become a place where the history of American golf meets the future of American golf. We can’t thank each of you enough for all you have done to help us grow over the years. We look forward to keeping you updated with our progress at Belmont and encourage you to let us know if you have any questions. Sincerely, Brent Schneider, CEO The First Tee of Greater Richmond P.S. If you’d like to read more about our big news, see these stories by RichmondBizSense, the Henrico Citizen, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Join Us: Transforming & Empowering Youth

The First Tee of Greater Richmond is strengthening the character of our community by providing programs that build resilience in our youth, teach critical life skills, and provide caring adult supervision in a safe environment. At elementary schools, youth centers, and golf facilities, The First Tee students participate in a seamless golf and character education program, promoting physical activity and embedding core values and wellness in every lesson.  In an independent study of participants, 73% reported higher academic confidence and 82% felt more confident socially because of their involvement with The First Tee.  These positive outcomes illustrate that our evidence-based youth programs are a promising approach to the prevention of problems ranging from aggressive and antisocial behaviors to academic under-achievement.  We are building a stronger community by transforming and empowering our youth. Providing affordable golf access in our city is also a priority.  The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range near downtown was renovated in 2017, while a renovation of The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course is planned for early 2020.  Both facilities provide an inclusive environment for both program participants and thousands of golf patrons annually, making our organization a multi-faceted resource for youth and families in our area. We are grateful for your recent support of The First Tee of Greater Richmond and hope you will consider renewing your support this year.  Your ongoing commitment will allow us to continue addressing the needs of young people in our community by providing high-quality, positive youth development programs that build up children of all backgrounds. Sincerely, Brent Schneider, CEO [email protected] Click here & join our mission
     

The First Tee National School Program Brings RVA Schools Together

Within the past week, The First Tee of Greater Richmond hosted its signature Champions Day for Richmond Public Schools at the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range. Richmond middle schools joined the green grass facility on Thursday and Richmond elementary schools came out on Tuesday. Each of the schools selected four exemplary students to represent their school based upon the student’s performance and understanding of golf skills and life skills taught through The First Tee National School Program. Champions Day gave students an opportunity to apply their knowledge and showcase their skills learned in physical education classes on course.
“Field trips are important teaching moments for students that provide very personal learning experiences. Many of the lessons the RPS students receive on Champions day will be with them throughout their lives. We had buses full of happy, smiling students leave the driving range! Thanks again for a beautiful day of Golf and life lessons!” – Stefanie C. Ramsey, Ed.D., RPS Coordinator of  H&PE and Athletics
Students rotated through a variety of stations including a combination of golf skills, The First Tee Nine Core Values, The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, and STEM curriculum. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) has been used by the United States Golf Association as an exciting way to educate young people using the game of golf.

About The First Tee national school program

The First Tee of Greater Richmond partners with 126 elementary schools through The First Tee National School Program  (NSP). The goal of NSP is to provide students with life skills, while learning the game of golf, through activity-based learning. This program is implemented as a part of regular, in-school elementary physical education classes and is delivered by school-based physical educators.                               For all questions about Champions Day, please contact Berkley Jackson, Program Coordinator: [email protected]
 

Renovation Preview: The Tattersall Youth Development Center

Entire facility closed starting MOnday, December 9th
The First Tee of Greater Richmond is preparing for clubhouse renovations at The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course. The scheduled work will be very similar to the look and feel of the 2017 renovation at the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range clubhouse to foster a consistent energy and youth-centric feel at both locations. The clubhouse at The Tattersall Youth Development Center was originally built in 1999 and The First Tee of Greater Richmond remains committed to providing first-class facilities for our youth participants, families, patrons, volunteers, and the community. Scheduled changes for the building include reshaping and repurposing the interior of the clubhouse, a new Trackman 4 Simulator, additional space for youth programs, and improved patio space and furniture for parents and golf outings. Beginning Monday, December 9th, the clubhouse, programming classroom, golf course, and practice areas will be closed to the public and youth programs. The clubhouse and surrounding golf course will re-open in May 2020. Patrons with annual memberships or monthly dues at this facility will not be charged during the renovation.   During the closure at Chesterfield, we welcome all golfers to visit our downtown practice facility, The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range (400 School Street, Richmond 23222), to utilize the practice areas, covered hitting bays, Trackman Simulators, and 6 hole par-3 course.
The First Tee of Greater Richmond invites parents, patrons, donors, and community partners to attend a Town Hall Meeting to learn more about the renovation, timeline, and ask questions of our leadership team.

When: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: 6736 Huntingcreek Drive, North Chesterfield, VA 23237

For all questions regarding facility renovations or operations, please contact Kelly McAnally, Senior VP of Operations of The First Tee of Greater Richmond: [email protected]

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RICHMOND BIZSENSE    

Leadership Advisory Board Raises $70,000

Each year, The Leadership Advisory Board and friends of The First Tee plan and participate in a key combination event for our organization, the Longest Day of Golf and Birdies & Brews. In its fifth year, these valuable volunteers raised over 70,000 for The First Tee of Greater Richmond. Revenue generated from special events provide the our youth programs with needed support to strengthen the character of our community.

The Longest day of golf

The two-day event began with the 2019 Longest Day of Golf. On Friday, October 11th, 15 fundraisers played golf from 8am to 5pm at The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course while soliciting support through their individual fundraising pages.

Birdies & Brews

The following evening, Birdies & Brews wrapped up the fun – open to the public, 100 guests purchased tickets to receive unlimited golf, live music, and food and beverage at The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range.
Thank you to our event sponsors: Mercedes Benz of Midlothian and Richmond Thalhimer Heritage Wealth Advisors Heartwood Wealth Advisors Michael McCann
Food & BEVERAGE SPONSORS

Home Sweet Home

Belle Isle Craft Spirits

Live Music
Stillwater Hum
For all event questions, please contact: Madison Medlin, Senior Director of Marketing & Events: [email protected]
     

Three Participants Play With Champions

On Monday, October 14th, three of The First Tee’s participants, D’yan Robinson (Ace), Ivan Chan (Ace), and Meg Lavinder (Eagle) played alongside Mike Goodes at The Kanawha Club in the “Four Amigos and Friends Golf Gala.” Hosted by Fred Funk, Gene Sauers, Bernhard Langer, and Mike Goodes, this event brings PGA Champions TOUR players together to raise money for Folds of Honor and Virginians for Veterans programs. D’yan, Ivan, and Meg filled a foursome with Goodes to shoot a score of 20 (-7) through 9-holes at Kanawha Club, a private 9-hole par-3 course in Manakin-Sabot, VA. They tied for first but finished second after a scorecard playoff.
Being able to share in this experience with The First Tee was absolutely amazing. The kids exhibited all of the core values throughout the day and received positive praise and feedback from the Pro Golfers. What a wonderful experience! – Denise Robinson, Parent of D’yan Robinson This is an amazing experience for the junior golfers to learn and to collaborate with the Pro Golfers. A great opportunity for the junior golfers to exercise the core values that are taught in The First Tee Program. Positive feedback and praise were received from all the participants. We are so proud of our amazing kids! – Kevin Chan, Parent of Ivan Chan
This event comes ahead of the 2019 Dominion Energy Charity Classic to be held at the Country Club of Virginia later this week.

More event photos

 

Thalhimer Gives Again

Last month, Thalhimer and their “Thalhimer Gives” program gave back to The First Tee by completing needed touch-ups in preparation for the clubhouse renovation coming this fall at The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course. For part two of their volunteer partnership, Thalhimer staffed the local Drive, Chip, and Putt Qualifier on June 27th. Over 14 representatives from Thalhimer joined The First Tee to staff registration, scoring, and meal preparation for 100+ youth and their families on Thursday. With their support, the event ran smoothly and efficiently so every attendee felt welcome as The First Tee showcased their popular programming facility. Congratulations to all junior golfers advancing to the next round at Salisbury Country Club!

About the Drive, chip, and putt QUALIFIER

The Drive, Chip, and Putt is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf. 1 The Tattersall Youth Development Center hosted the local qualifier with the Mid-Atlantic PGA where over 100 junior golfers from the region competed on the Road to Augusta. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional and qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament.2

About the Thalhimer Gives Program

Thalhimer Gives is a company initiative focused on increasing community involvement and charitable giving. Through Thalhimer Gives, associates have the opportunity to actively engage in the community by donating financially, providing much-needed supplies, and giving generously of their time to local organizations.3

Engage with us!

The First Tee of Greater Richmond welcomes community partners seeking opportunities to engage with our organization. Through volunteer work, corporate events, or group golf outings, The First Tee’s programming facilities offer a space for collaboration, innovation, and inclusion. For all questions about community events or volunteer opportunities with The First Tee of Greater Richmond  and their programming facilities, please contact Kelly McAnally, Senior VP of Operations: [email protected].

Nicole Chang to Attend Life Skills & Leadership Academy

RVA Teen Selected for The First Tee’s National Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. Life Skills & Leadership Academy

96 teens tapped nationally to attend academy in Boise, Idaho July 24-30

(Richmond, Virginia) The First Tee of Greater Richmond is proud to announce Nicole Chang, Ace Level participant, is headed to the Joe Louis Barrow, Jr. Life Skills & Leadership Academy in Boise, Idaho July 24-30. Nicole will join more than 90 junior golfers, ages 14-17, from The First Tee chapters around the country at the youth leadership event. Hosted by The First Tee headquarters, the academy recognizes and rewards exceptional teen participants who are prepared to build upon leadership skills introduced through programs at their local chapter. Top coaches in The First Tee’s network deliver the golf and leadership instruction that incorporate The First Tee’s Nine Core Values in a concentrated, week-long event. Participants build skills preparing them for success beyond the golf course. They will experience championship golf, career exploration, dorm living at Boise State University and meeting other teens from around the country sharing golf as their common bond.
The First Tee is an outstanding program that allows junior golfers to experience golf in a fun and safe environment. I am grateful to have this opportunity to travel to this camp and learn life skills, make new friends, and develop my game.” – Nicole Chang
Nicole Chang, 15, is a rising junior at Clover Hill High School in Midlothian, Virginia. Active in The First Tee of Greater Richmond for four years. She participates in Life Skills Experience Classes, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, and the Junior Leadership Board. She is also on the varsity golf team, public speaking/forensics team, service chair for YMCA Leaders Club, and student council for her junior class. “Nicole always goes above and beyond the expectation and represents The First Tee of Greater Richmond well,” said Berkley Jackson, Program Coordinator at The First Tee of Greater Richmond. “We are thrilled that Nicole will be attending this year’s Life Skills and Leadership Academy and are excited to hear about her experiences!” The First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to helping youth build character through the game of golf. Through in-school and after-school programs, it helps shape young people’s lives by reinforcing values like integrity, respect, and perseverance embedded in the game of golf.

Learn more about national participant opportunities

With the help of The First Tee national corporate partners, more advanced participants can apply to attend these golf and leadership events. These events often become life-changing experiences. Click here to learn more.  

The 2018 Annual Report

The First Tee of Greater Richmond shares annual reports to summarize the previous year’s great achievements. Because of your support of our mission, our programs help kids become better golfers – but even more importantly – better people who strengthen the character of our community.

The 2018 annual report: A Summary

More than a game. Developing good golfers and better people. Life Skills Experience. The most impactful program of The First Tee. National School Program. Elementary school students teeing off for the first time. Community Partnerships. United by a shared vision for developing healthy, productive adults. Investment. Ensuring investments provide the chapter with new opportunities to strengthen the character of our community.

Click here to read our 2018 Annual Review


From our leadership

True to our mission, our organization strengthened the character of our community in 2018. Our programs provided valuable life skills training to Richmond’s youth and our public facilities provided safe, high-quality venues for our participants and patrons -a ll through the game of golf! – Ben Pace, Board Chair The First Tee of Greater Richmond is a national leader in offering evidence-based character education programs through golf. Yes, our organization is helping to strengthen the character of our community. – Brent Schneider, CEO
The First Tee of Greater Richmond Board Vice Chair Patty Merrill joins CEO Brent Schneider for the Dominion Energy Charity Classic Impact Announcement in early 2019.

   

Women In Golf: All Ages and Skill Levels

The First Tee of Greater Richmond is proud to develop the lives of youth regardless of background, age level, or golf experience. In addition to the chapter’s programs, partnerships provide the ability to expand opportunities for young people to allow relationships with mentors to deepen. The LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Program & the LPGA Amateur Women’s Golf Association – RVA are two empowering organizations in which The First Tee partners with to drive females, both youth and adults, forward through the game of golf.

Girls Golf Participants attend Kingsmill

On Saturday May 25th, The First Tee of Greater Richmond‘s LPGA*USGA Girls Golf members attended a junior golf clinic and an exclusive behind the scenes tour at the LPGA Puresilk Championship on the Kingsmill River Course. Kingsmill’s Golf Academy Director of Instruction, Chris George, PGA, with special guest LPGA tour players, Katherine Perry and Robyn Choi led the junior clinic for 11 youth. Visit Williamsburg presented the behind the scenes tour of the Puresilk  Championship allowing participants to visit the LPGA fitness trailer, media center, rules office, club house, player dining, and more. Thank you Puresilk Championship tournament staff, Kingsmill Resort staff, and LPGA tour players for giving our participants a day to remember!  JOIN THE LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Program today!

downtown facility hosts women’s golf day

Women’s Golf Day serves as a day of recognition for women in the sport to network, play golf, and socialize among other female leaders in the community. On June 4th, the LPGA Amateur Women’s Golf Association – RVA attended The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range for an exclusive event for all women and girls interested in growing the game of golf. Over 35 community members and The First Tee’s Girls Golf participants gathered for an evening of golf clinics and networking to honor female participation in the sport. The First Tee is grateful for the LPGA Amateur Women’s Golf Association – RVA for seeking a thoughtful partnership within our organization!  For all questions about hosing community events with The First Tee of Greater Richmond at one of two programming facilities, please contact Kelly McAnally, Senior VP of Operations: [email protected].  

Meet the 2019 Summer Interns

The First Tee of Greater Richmond’s annual summer internship program is kicking off June 10th! We are thrilled to welcome ten college students to our chapter for a summer of coaching and mentoring our youth. The Summer Internship Program will: introduce interns to inspiring young people; develop interactions with families, board members, staff and other constituents of The First Tee of Greater Richmond; expose interns to all elements of a thriving, growing, and successful nonprofit in the Richmond area including but not limited to marketing strategies, fundraising, and professional development.

Meet our Interns

We are pleased to introduce our TEN summer interns. Click their names to learn more about each aspiring young leader.

Bradley Vespa

School
University of Alabama, 2020
Major
Marketing – with an Advertising minor.

Dylan Taylor

School
Georgia Southern University, 2020
Major
Master’s degree in Political Science

Eleshia Jones

School
University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, 2021
Major
Exercise Science with a clinical concentration

Joshua Murphy

School
Appalachian State University, 2019
Major
Parks and Recreation Management

Kristen Pratt

School
Virginia Tech, 2020
Major
Finance

Riley Kern

school
Ferrum College, 2020
Major
Outdoor recreation – with an Accounting minor

Robert Morris

school
University of North Florida, 2019
Major
Sport Management – with a marketing minor.

Sirena Walsh

School
Longwood University, 2020
Major
Business Administration

Tristan Bazemore

School
Madison University, 2019
Major
Business Administration and Management

Vivian Satterfield

School
University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Major
Communications
For all questions regarding The First Tee’s Summer Internship Program, please contact Berkley Jackson, Program Coordinator: [email protected].

Fairways for Warriors: Driven Forward by Golf

On Memorial Day, The First Tee of Greater Richmond sought an opportunity to honor our warriors. Whether their past consists of making the ultimate sacrifice for our nation or their present consists of serving throughout the community, the first annual Fairway for Warriors Memorial Tournament brought together the greatest among us. Similarly to The First Tee using golf as a method to teach life skills, Fairways for Warriors is a non-profit organization that uses golf to provide support to combat veterans for essential care. Stemmed from a partnership with veterans and service members throughout the state and Fort Lee, the connection between the two organizations is natural and mission-driven.
The camaraderie and challenges of golf aids combat wounded veteran’s journey towards rehabilitation and healing. – Fairway for Warriors 1 
Almost 60 players attended the event. Included in the pool was Command Sergeant major Michael J. Perry, III, the Combined Arms Support Command senior enlisted adviser, and two teams with The First Tee participants. Supported by local sponsors, this impactful outing raised nearly $5,000 for Fairways for Warriors towards establishing a chapter in Virginia. The First Tee seeks ways to be an asset to the RVA community and looks forward to supporting this organization and many others to honor those who have served and continue to do so.

Engage with us!

For all questions about community events or volunteer opportunities with The First Tee of Greater Richmond  and their programming facilities, please contact Kelly McAnally, Senior VP of Operations: [email protected].