First Tee Volunteers Shine in Annual Fundraiser

First Tee – Greater Richmond’s Leadership Advisory Board and friends plan and participate in a key annual event for our organization, the Longest Day of Golf. In its sixth year, these valuable volunteers raised over $71,000 for First Tee – Greater Richmond, a $5,000 increase from 2019. 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 2020 Longest Day of Golf took place on Friday, September 25th. 22 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. The participants’ supporters ranged from corporate sponsorships to local businesses to members of their personal network.


Thank you to our event sponsors: Mercedes Benz of Midlothian and Richmond Flourish Spaces Greenwood Financial Group Haley Auto Group Heritage Wealth Advisors Heartwood Wealth Advisors NorthMarq Poolhouse PwC South State Bank
Food & Beverage Sponsors
Blanchard’s Coffee Chick-Fil-A Boychick’s Deli

Brock’s BBQ

Center of the Universe Brewing Co.


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

Building Our Growth Story

For two decades First Tee has helped kids write their growth story. Now, we are writing ours. We took a page out of our own yardage book. We’ve reflected on who we are, what makes our work meaningful, and how we can continue showing up in the ways that matter for kids today. Together, with our entire First Tee network that spans 150 chapters across the U.S. and select international chapters, we’re unveiling a refreshed First Tee as we bring our work to life in a new expression this week. Just like we guide kids in their journey — we’re not changing who we are; we’re growing into what we can become. Thank you for being a part of our growth story. Together, we’re Building Game Changers.   Follow us: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
   

Meet Our 2020 Summer Interns

Join First Tee in welcoming seven new interns for this summer programming session! Ranging from law students to incoming college freshmen, these interns completed a rigorous interview process with a wide pool of applicants. While some are beginner golfers and others collegiate athletes, they represent a variety of colleges in the region.

Meet our 2020 interns

Lucia Eovino – Richmond | William and Mary 
Lucia is a sophomore at William and Mary studying Linguistics and Chinese. She has been involved with The First Tee from a young age, taking classes up through Ace level, going to the Life Skills and Leadership Academy, volunteering and working in the pro shop at Richmond. She is extremely excited to work with the campers and make sure they stay safe and have fun while learning about the core values and healthy habits. 
Emily Erickson – Green Bay | University of Lynchburg
Emily is a freshman at the University of Lynchburg and will be studying Marketing and Psychology. She is also a member of the women’s golf team at the university. Emily has been playing golf since she was seven. She is passionate about growing the game of junior golf and is excited to be working with the First Tee program this summer. She is looking forward to working with the campers and helping them develop a love for the game of golf. 
Michael Fortune – Richmond | James Madison University
Michael is a sophomore finance major at James Madison University and new to the First Tee. He is also new to the game of golf but is eager to learn the game. A graduate from Douglas Southall Freeman High School, Michael has been around sports his whole life having played basketball and baseball for as long as he remembers, and he loves to work in a sports environment. He is looking forward to working with campers and helping them grow as both athletes and individuals. 
Ashley Frederick – Richmond | University of Virginia
Ashley is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. She majored in Kinesiology and has applied to the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University for graduate school. She has an interest in working with youth development programs and student athletes in the future. She is new to golf, but played volleyball in high school and is a recreational runner. Ashley is looking forward to meeting the campers and helping them integrate The Nine Core Values with lifelong golf skills.
Chae Han – Richmond | Randolph Macon
Chae is a current nursing student at Randolph Macon College. She double majors in Nursing and Asian studies. She is also a member of the golf team and has been a part of the First Tee at the age of ten. She looks forward to being involved with the First Tee programs again and to work with campers on life lessons by utilizing golf. 
Benjamin Lockhart – Raleigh | Wake Forest University 
Benjamin is an aspiring law student after the conclusion of his senior year at Wake Forest in 2021, where he will graduate as a Business Enterprise Management Major with a concentration in Business Law. He has been an avid golfer for most of his life, playing recreationally as well as competing at an amateur level. His background in instructing Tae Kwon Do has inspired him to get back into working with the campers here at the First Tee and he is most looking forward to getting to know the campers and working with them to become integral parts of the Greater Richmond community. 
Emma Whitten – Richmond | Campbell University School of Law
Emma received her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Criminal Justice and Women and Gender Studies at James Madison University in 2018. She currently attends law school in Raleigh, North Carolina and just finished her 1L year. Her passion is human rights law and working with local non-profits. She has played golf recreationally since elementary school, attending summer camps similar to The First Tee. She comes from a family of Richmond natives and is excited to give back to her community through the game of golf. 
Summer is always an exciting time for First Tee of Greater Richmond. Every year, the interns bring new ideas, fresh perspective, and positive energy. I love sharing the First Tee’s mission to aspiring young talent. The team we have this year is superb and I have full confidence that they will positively impact every single participant they cross paths with. – Brittany Woo, Director of Programming

about first tee’s internship program

The First Tee Interns are responsible for helping to guide and coach young people to become responsible citizens and active golfers through the delivery of daily life skill and golf instruction in summer camp. The Summer Internship Program will:
  • Introduce interns to inspiring young people
  • Develop interactions with families, board members, staff and other constituents of 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. 
All of the interns are ready to work together to help run multiple camps over the summer ranging from the Little Legends Camp to the First Tee Golf Camp: Powered by Operation 36. Over the course of the summer the interns are committed to providing and operating a safe and fun environment for the campers as well as abiding by all the rules and regulations surrounding COVID-19. 

Chesterfield Facility Set to Reopen for Outdoor Operations on May 2nd

First Tee of Greater Richmond is pleased to announce an on-time reopening of the Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course on May 2nd to the public, our members, families, and friends. When closing the facility in December for extensive renovations to upgrade the clubhouse, the current pandemic was not in the forecast. First Tee strives to be a foundational community resource and we look forward to allowing access to outdoor operations only next Saturday. Please read the following policies and procedures put in place to ensure socially distant and contact-free golf during this time.

RANGE BALLS

Upon reopening, we will be operating our register from the programming building. Staff will fill range balls for each player and each person must return the basket to our staff at the completion of their practice session to be deeply sanitized. Staff will also pick and wash range balls with an anti-bacterial disinfectant before being placed back into the machine.

CART RENTAL

While we will encourage patrons to walk as much as possible, cart rentals will be available for one-person use only. Our team will thoroughly clean carts with disinfectant from top to bottom prior to being put into rotation.

ON COURSE PLAY

Rakes will not be available on the course. We ask you to try to smooth the sand to your best ability with your foot. All players must leave the flagsticks in on every hole to prevent touching the flags. First Tee encourages patrons to book and pay for their tee times in advance through www.playgolfrva.org.

CLUBHOUSE

The only bathrooms available will be the single person bathrooms in the programming building to aid sanitation efforts. We look forward to being a full access facility to showcase our recent renovations in the near future.

BOOK YOUR TEE TIME

Reservations for the May 2nd reopening will be live on April 27th – and you get 25% off! Use the promo code “WEREBACK2020” to receive your discount from May 2nd – May 24th. You must book through our online booking engine for the code to be valid: www.playgolfrva.org.

CARD ONLY

At this time, First Tee will not be accepting cash payments. Thank you for your patience. As the crisis remains fluid, our staff continues to adhere to daily updates from resources like the CDC, WHO, and academic publications. First Tee looks forward to giving the community an opportunity to enjoy great weather and reopen after the five months of remodel work. With our new policies and procedures in place we confidently can do so in a safe and responsible manner. Thank you for your patience and attentiveness to this matter.
Sincerely,
First Tee of Greater Richmond Staff

If you have any questions regarding First Tee’s facility operations, please contact Mark Lynch: [email protected].

Promoting Socially Distant Golf

First Tee of Greater Richmond strives to serve as a foundational community resource. The Coronavirus spread has put shock on our society: no large group gatherings, no nonessential travel, and a stay at home order to encourage social distancing. Thankfully, the change in seasons is favoring outdoor activity and the thirst to stay active. And First Tee is ready to serve you should you need an outlet to get outside. 

OUR GOAL

As this crisis remains fluid, First Tee continuously updates its staff with important guidelines put in place by the CDC, WHO, and other academic publications. While staying open for business serves as a community connector and gives an opportunity to enjoy the spring season ahead, it also brings strict new policies and procedures to practice responsible outdoor golf to protect our patrons.

OUR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Thank you for understanding our need to keep the following policies and procedures in place as we drive outdoor operations only:
Ensuring Sanitation 
  • Outdoor register use providing contact-free purchases
  • Staff to dispense balls for each patron to limit contact with the ball machine 
  • Immediate return of range basket after use to staff for intense sanitation 
  • Picked range balls undergo washing with antibacterial disinfectant prior to returning to the ball machine 
  • Indoor restrooms remain open while staff cleans after each patron use. This clean includes wiping down door knobs, sink knobs, or any other contact point from the patron. 
Promoting Social Distancing
  • The 6-hole Par-3 Loop remains open with pool noodles in each cup to eliminate reaching into the cup to retrieve the ball
  • Patrons are guided by the staff to refrain from removing pin flags and raking bunkers
  • Patrons are required to use only personal balls on the putting and chipping greens
  • No pin flags are in place on the putting green
 

LET’S PLAY GOLF, RVA! 

First Tee acknowledges the current public health crisis and is at the forefront of ensuring socially distant play for our community. We will remain open outdoors at the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range (400 School Street) and plan to reopen The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course (6736 Huntingcreek Drive) next month. Your support of our organization during this time is appreciated and we look forward to hosting the community in a socially distant environment. Should you have any questions about our current operations, policies, or procedures, please contact Mark Lynch, Director of Golf: [email protected]. 

From our CEO: Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As we continue to monitor the rapidly changing developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), effective today, Wednesday, March 18th The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range will be closed until further notice. The safety of participants, patrons, employees, and volunteers is First Tee of Greater Richmond’s top priority. We intend to maintain our facilities with limited personnel on-site and will support our many other functions by working remotely where possible.

First Tee of Greater Richmond’s Plan of Action

Youth Programs, Community Events, Group Outings, etc. List of March Events:
  • Ace Workshops: March 28th –  format changed to a virtual meeting.
  • Belmont Information Presentation: March 19thformat changing to a virtual meeting. More information to follow.
  • Girls Golf Kick-Off: March 21st– CANCELLED
  • Winter League Party: March 26th – POSTPONED
  • Week-long Club Drive: March 30th – April 4th – TBD
  • PGA HOPE Series: March 31st – This is the series kick off date. The series is TBD
  • Swing into Spring: April 4th –  TBD
List of March Outings:
  • Bensley Elementary: March 16th – 20th –  CANCELLED
  • Harrowgate Elementary: March 23rd – March 27th –  CANCELLED
  • Wilder Middle School: March 24th –  CANCELLED
  • Ratcliffe Elementary: March 24th –  CANCELLED
  • Collegiate Golf Program: March 25th –  CANCELLED
Thank you for your dedication in helping us strengthen the character of our community and your partnership as we continue to review this situation in order to provide timely information and comfort  during these unsettling times. Please continue to take every precaution to stay healthy by following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and local health administrators. Sincerely, Brent Schneider, President & CEO First Tee of Greater Richmond

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