GREENSBORO, N.C. – – Following its most successful year since its inception in 2007, The First Tee of the Triad hosted its inaugural awards ceremony at Sedgefield Country Club, it was announced today.  The First Tee of the Triad is the local chapter of the international movement to teach children life skills through golf.  2008 Wyndham Championship winner Carl Pettersson attended the event and conducted a question-and-answer session for the First Tee of the Triad children in attendance.

During this impressive season for The First Tee of the Triad, the Piedmont Triad program more than doubled the number of participants to approximately 800 after impacting 378 in 2011.  The number of registered coaches increased from 48 in 2011 to 152 this year.  Through support from the Bryan Foundation, among others, the First Tee of the Triad’s in-school program reached students in Kindergarten through fifth grade at 41 schools in Guilford and Forsyth counties.

In addition, The First Tee of the Triad hosted five unique golf clinics in partnership with BB&T, Sunbrella, Wake Forest University and the Wyndham Championship. Earlier this month, the organization provided an outdoor golf experience for 25 autistic children, many of whom had never seen a golf club nor had significant opportunities for outdoor experiences.

The First Tee of the Triad increased its facilities during 2012 as well growing from four at the beginning of the year to eight current locations.  Greensboro National, Jamestown Park, High Point’s Oak Hollow Golf Course and The Rick Murphy Golf Academy in Greensboro joined existing locations at Greensboro’s Gillespie Golf Course, Salem Glen Country Club and Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and Winston Lake Golf Club in Winston-Salem.  Additional facility additions in Alamance County are planned for 2013.

“The generosity and support of our community is remarkable,” CEO of The First Tee of the Triad, Mike Barber said.  “It is a special privilege for many of us to see firsthand the life-changing experiences created from the Triad presence of the The Bryan Foundation, the Wyndham Championship and the many other generous supporters of The First Tee’s mission.  We are thrilled with what we accomplished together in 2011, but we are even more excited to build on that success next year.”

Award winners from the 2012 First Tee of the Triad season were announced during the awards ceremony as Pettersson looked on and offered congratulations; the following children representing multiple Piedmont Triad communities were recognized for their achievements:

  1. Scholar Award; each with a grade point averages of 4.0 or better:
    1. Joseph Ford
    2.  Mikayla PettyJohn
    3. Mathew Guo
    4. Sarah Eakes
    5. Core Value Awards; each consistently displayed behavior that embodied The First Tee of the Triad core values:
      1. Perseverance-Anthony Akins
      2. Integrity-Taylor Townsend
      3. Responsibility-Ross McKee
      4. Sportsmanship-Luke Crouse
      5. Judgment-Allison Dell
      6. Confidence-Donovan Durham
      7. Essay Award; each wrote particularly moving essays illustrating how The First Tee of the Triad sponsor support impacts their daily lives:
        1. Zack Bohlmann
        2. Ethan Kim
        3. Majesty Drumwright
        4. Isaac Childrey
        5. Mason Jenkins

With its 2012 season complete, The First Tee of the Triad is currently completing plans for its 2013 programs.  When those plans are complete, details and sign-up information will be available at

About The First Tee:

The First Tee, an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, has as its mission, “To impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.”  The goal of The First Tee is to provide the golf-learning facilities and the experience that will enable kids from every walk of life to partake of a game that teaches values for life and which can be played for a lifetime. The First Tee of the Triad operates at Tanglewood Park and Winston Lake Golf Course in Winston-Salem and Gillespie Golf Course in Greensboro.  The First Tee of the Triad is one of 204 chapters operating at some 692 facilities in all 50 states and five foreign countries with more than 3 million participants.  More than 3,300 schools also participate in the program.  Founded by the World Golf Foundation in 1997, The First Tee is a way to bring golf to children that otherwise would not be exposed to the game or its positive values.  The program is overseen and has the active support of committee members representing Augusta National Golf Club, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the United States Golf Association.  Former President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chairman.

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