We believe that golf provides a powerful vehicle to help kids build inner strength and life enhancing skills they can take to everything they do.
Joseph Dent, Marcellus Dillard and Joey Stills are First Tee alumni using these life lessons as they compete on the APGA Tour, a launching pad for African Americans and minority golfers to compete and make their way to the PGA TOUR. The three alumni shared their experiences through First Tee and how it’s empowered them to develop their character as they pursue their goals.
First Tee – Greater Richmond serves a unique role in our community. Not only are we a youth development organization delivering character education through the game of golf, but we also provide inclusive golf experiences for thousands of patrons annually at two (soon to be three) public golf facilities. All revenue generated from public use directly benefits youth programs.
Read below to learn more about our facilities as well as upgrades we made in 2020.
The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course
In August of 2000, First Tee – Greater Richmond opened its golf course in Chesterfield County becoming the nation’s twentieth programming location. This 18-hole, par 66 golf course provides a challenge for all level of golfers. In addition to the 18-hole course, it includes great practice facilities complete with a driving range, practice greens, and a 3-hole development course focused on scoring distances developed by renowned architect Lester George. The Tattersall Youth Development Center focuses on providing opportunities to the local community, historically hosting County, Corporate, and fund raising events. The pro-shop attends to all golf needs – fittings, apparel, and equipment.
After a five-month renovation, The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course reopened to rave reviews in May despite the clubhouse remaining closed due to COVID-19. The clubhouse was the centerpiece of the renovation. We transformed it into a youth-centric space that provides a safe, innovative learning environment for golfers of all ages. This provides the organization with a better space to serve the youth enrolled in our programming and patrons looking to improve their game and enjoy their golf outing. Improvements include:
The addition of an interactive community room
A Trackman 4 Dual Radar Launch Monitor and Simulator that enables users to choose from 20 famous golf courses to play virtually or analyze every facet of their swing through data-driven practice and custom club fitting opportunities with PGA professionals
A collaborative afterschool hangout to excite youth participants and enable coaches and mentors to increase the impact on all patrons
A small retail center
Expanded outdoor seating and hangout space
A new fleet of golf carts
Turf enhancements on holes 1 and 10 and bunker work that fixes drainage issues and adds sand for course consistency
Landscaping around the new clubhouse to create a more open overlook to the Discovery Course and practice area
Originally built in 2003, The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range is a championship level practice facility for golfers of all skill sets. The First Tee of Greater Richmond operates this facility to fulfill its mission while hosting patrons and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Men’s Golf Team. The facility offers a 6-hole par-3 course with Bermuda grass and Champion Bermuda greens built by nationally acclaimed architect Lester George. Additionally, a large grass range, practice greens and bunker, and two Trackman 4 simulator bays promote a wide variety of practice opportunities. Located in the heart of downtown Richmond, The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range provides a premier experience for all golfers.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ELSON REDMOND’S OFFERINGS
After announcing plans for a multimillion-dollar renovation of Belmont Golf Course in Henrico County in December 2019, an extensive restoration and renovation began in May at Belmont, led by Love Golf Design and MacCurrach Golf Construction under the direction of First Tee – Greater Richmond. We could not be more excited to deliver on our promise of a community-focused, inclusive and affordable golf facility for all ages and skill levels.
The facility will enable us to expand our youth programming to a new audience. We’re already delivering programming to more than 40 schools in Henrico County and look forward to welcoming these students and families to The New Belmont. As for the golf itself, we believe The New Belmont will have something to offer golfers of all skill levels.
The conversion of the 18-hole course to a 12-hole championship course that restores the final 12 holes in famed designer A.W. Tillinghast’s original routing
The construction of a six-hole short course inspired by Tillinghast Par-3s from around the country, including holes at Winged Foot, Quaker Ridge and San Francisco Golf Club
The addition of a 35,000 square-foot putting course that is free for all to enjoy
The creation of a practice area to include a grass-teed driving range with original Tillinghast greens as targets, a wedge range, short-game area and practice green
We always love receiving updates from participants who have gone through our programs. In the case of two “alums” – Sterling Simmons and Brittany Woo – we’re getting to see their updates first-hand…they joined our team in 2020!
Read below to hear more from Sterling and Brittany and learn how First Tee shaped them into who they are as mentors and why they chose to give back to the organization based upon their experiences in the program as youth participants.
Sterling Simmons, Player Development Instructor
Old Dominion University, 2018 – Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
In His Words
The reason that I am giving back to our First Tee community is to help create special moments with participants the way my coach did for me when I was growing up. I remember volunteering with my old coach one day for a PLAYer class, and we were on the range about to start an activity. He asked me to demonstrate hitting a shot on the range, and I remembered I was really nervous to hit in front of the other participants. As I stepped up to the ball, he said, ‘You’ve got this,’ and in that moment I truly believed in myself. I proceeded to crush the ball down the middle of the range, and I walked back with a big smile on my face. He gave me a fist bump and told me it was a nice shot.
After that, we didn’t talk about it, but that moment between us has always stuck with me, and I know when I hit in front of people I just think back to that moment and I have confidence in myself. I want to help create these small moments that have a big impact on our participants that they will remember for their lifetime.
Brittany Woo, Director of Programming
University of Richmond, 2018 — Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; currently earning her Master of Nonprofit Studies at the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies
In Her Words
First Tee — Greater Richmond has given me so many opportunities as a participant and continues to do so as a working professional in the ‘real world’ and an alumna of the organization. When my dad signed up for golf class 17 years ago, no one could’ve imagined it would lead into a leadership role within the organization itself.
There are many moments that shaped or guided my First Tee experience as a participant, older sister of other First Tee participants, volunteer, coach, intern at the First Tee HQ and in my current role as the Director of Programming. One of those moments was when my First Tee coach at the time told me I was his on his ‘go-to’ team. As a 13-year-old participant, this meant the absolute world to me. Having my mentor tell me I was on his team meant the absolute world to me. I gained so much confidence and felt self-worth within the greater community.
Another moment was when my First Tee coach came to one of my high school golf tournaments. I was not having the greatest front nine, but after a pep talk at the turn, I was able to shoot even par on the back nine. Having my First Tee coach support me in all of my endeavors, even outside of First Tee, was something I truly cherished growing up.
These are very small moments, but ones that stick in my mind of what makes a great coach and mentor. My inspiration for giving back to First Tee — Greater Richmond is so I can also be that mentor in a young person’s life. I’m inspired by the young community and the great potential they have. Giving them the opportunity to grow, learn, lead and be the best they can be through the game of golf is what I strive for every day.
First Tee – Greater Richmond enables kids and teens to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges by seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills. The organization provides active learning experiences that develop inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids can carry into everything they set out to accomplish. First Tee builds experiences that builds character: First Tee is building game changers.
In 2019, we delivered programming to more than 71,000 youth throughout Richmond. Some of the other impact we are making:
The Time is NOW
Today is Giving Tuesday – a national day to support nonprofits through their annual giving funds. Please join us by making a gift to First Tee – Greater Richmond. Your support will allow us to continue addressing the needs of young people in our community by providing high-quality, positive youth development programs that build game changers out of children from all backgrounds.
JOIN OUR MISSION HERE
Despite the year of uncertainty, First Tee – Greater Richmond is pleased share a summary on a wonderful year of programs.
Due to the national outbreak of COVID-19, in person programming came to a sudden halt. However, Director of Programming, Brittany Woo, and Player Development Instructor, Sterling Simmons, did not let that stop them from having a successful spring season. First Tee participants and coaches were all able to persevere during such an unusual time and host fun virtual classes through Zoom. You might have even seen First Tee on the local news! Watch here!
This summer was remarkable. We had the most amazing group of interns lead seven weeks of summer camp for nearly 200participants. Both the Tattersall Youth Development Center and Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range were packed with eager young golfers who made improvements day after day. Even through a pandemic, First Tee and its families came together, make new friends and improve our golf game. This season, we implemented the use of facemasks inside of the facility and we were able to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within First Tee facilities. We wrapped up the summer with the Junior Advisory Board’s annual Back to School Scramble which raised over $2,600 and 400 pieces of school supplies collected for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Richmond!
Fall classes were completely full this session. We even had to add a PLAYer class to the schedule in order to accommodate more participants! To wrap up the season, the Junior Advisory Board planned our annual Golf-o-Ween. The spirit of Halloween was still able to be celebrated by everyone as we had plenty of spooky activities and ghoulish treats to go around. Check out these fun and spooky pictures!
Upcoming Winter Programs
We are excited to see participants all year round, even if it is a bit chilly! This winter, we are offering a Fast Track program for participants to move up to Par and Birdie within just four weeks. If you are an Ace level participant, sign up for our Winter Ace Workshops so you can work on Ace projects and develop your own personal goals. Prior to the spring season, participants can refine their skills in our Preseason Junior Golf Skills Clinic. Click here to view our 2020 Winter Program schedules + REGISTER!
Our Commitment to Safety
First Tee – Greater Richmond thanks you for doing your part and adhering to the safety guidelines implemented over this past year. We have a commitment to keeping our environment fun and safe to ensure the continued success of our program. We truly appreciate your flexibility and positivity during this extraordinary time. We are very thankful for every single participant and family that help us strengthen the character of our community through the wonderful game of golf.
Thank you to our VCU Center for Sport Leadership Graduate Assistant, Ashley Frederick for writing this review.
To say the past year has been unique is an understatement. At times, it’s been interesting, educational and challenging. But also, extremely rewarding and encouraging. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged most everyone, including the Richmond-area youth and families we serve. Thanks to your ongoing support and the poise and passion of our entire team, we’ve had an incredible year.
Early in the pandemic, we adapted quickly to ensure that we continued to carry out our vision: “To strengthen the character of our community.” Our team developed virtual programming that enabled families to enjoy fun learning experiences while at home throughout the spring. And when our participants were able to return to in-person learning, we established new protocols and procedures to provide safe experiences. Additionally, we revamped operations to promote socially distant interactions, ranging from outdoor registers for contact-free purchases to washing range balls with antibacterial disinfectant to ensure the utmost safety of our patrons.
Speaking of facilities, we continue to be excited about our future. In May, we reopened The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield Golf Course after a five-month renovation. Enhancements include a new clubhouse, a new fleet of golf carts and other subtle course improvements. Similar to the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range in downtown Richmond, we’ve added an interactive community room, a Trackman 4 Dual Radar Launch Monitor and Simulator and a collaborative hangout space for our youth participants.
After coming to terms with Henrico County for a 20-year, long-term lease, we broke ground at Belmont Golf Course this spring. This multimillion-dollar renovation will include a restored 12-hole championship course comprised of the final holes of famed designer A.W. Tillinghast’s original 1917 routing, a new six-hole, par-3 short course, a putting course and a premier practice range. We look forward to welcoming the community to The New Belmont Golf Course in May 2021.
I’m excited to share with you our year in review. It has been a team effort, and I’m grateful to my colleagues for making the most out of uncertainty. I’m inspired by the progress we’ve made, and I’m encouraged about our future. Thank you for investing in the youth of our community and for being such an important part of our efforts.
Brent Schneider, CEO
First Tee — Greater Richmond
CLICK HERE TO READ OUR 2019-2020 YEAR IN REVIEWClick Here & Join Our Mission
In addition to getting youth on the golf course, First Tee – Greater Richmond offers exciting opportunities to put life skills learned in classes into action. With the help of our corporate partners, First Tee hosts multiple events per year to active participants giving them an outlet to exhibit the nine core values by meeting new people and playing extra golf around the country.One of the most notable events is the Pure Insurance Championship, an event where participants apply through a series of applications and interviews from all across the country and are selected to play at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course alongside PGA TOUR Champions players. In 2020, three of First Tee – Greater Richmond’s Ace participants, Nicole Chang, Tyler Tingen, and D’yan Robinson, completed the extensive application and interview process to attend this unique opportunity.
Given the current public health crisis, First Tee Headquarters and the TOUR determined that this year’s PURE Insurance Championship should be played without First Tee participants. Despite the unfortunate news, our teen participants kept their spirits high as they continued to volunteer and dedicate their time to our local chapter, host a Back to School Scramble fundraising and supply drive golf tournament, and organized one of the most fun events of the year, Golf-O-Ween.
Kirk Triplett Gives Back
With PGA TOUR events moving forward without fans, one of the TOUR players still sought an opportunity to engage and impact the local community of First Tee participants. Kirk Triplett, professional golfer from the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, and PGA TOUR Champions, presented an idea to invite First Tee participants to play in the remaining Pro-Am at PGA TOUR Champions Events for 2020.Because of Kirk’s efforts, First Tee – Greater Richmond’s three participants who applied for the Pure Insurance Championship were invited to play in the 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic Pro-Am with him! Another participant from First Tee – Hampton Roads also joined their group. On October 15th, birdies and light hearted jokes gave the Ace participants’ experience playing alongside Kirk Triplett at The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course memories of a lifetime.Nicole, Tyler, and D’yan cannot thank the TOUR and Kirk Triplett enough for their unforgettable experience.
To play at CCV James River with Kirk Triplett was a memorable experience for me and I’m grateful for First Tee and the DECC for giving us this opportunity. – D’yan RobinsonIt was awesome to play with Kirk. He is such a nice, kind person and I loved the entire experience. – Nicole Chang
I really enjoyed having this once in a lifetime opportunity! – Tyler Tingen
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
Greenwood Financial Group
Haley Auto Group
Heritage Wealth Advisors
Heartwood Wealth Advisors
South State Bank
Food & Beverage Sponsors
Center of the Universe Brewing Co.
For all event questions, please contact: Madison Medlin, Senior Director of Marketing & Events: [email protected]
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First Tee of Greater Richmond Staff
If you have any questions regarding First Tee’s facility operations, please contact Mark Lynch: [email protected].
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.
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:
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].