GCAA and The First Tee and Kick Off Partnership in Philadelphia
NORMAN, Okla. – The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) in a cooperative outreach initiative with The First Tee program held the first in a series of one-day events with The First Tee of Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 24, at Walnut Lane Golf Course. This kickoff event brought together collegiate players and their coaches with youngsters from The First Tee in an effort to promote involvement between college golf and the next generation of players in the game. The Philadelphia chapter, led by former Temple golf coach and GCAA Hall of Fame member John MacDonald, brought together over 120 participants from the ages of 9-17. The four-hour event included a skills challenge, a wellness discussion and a nine-hole match for selected participants. College coaches and players had the opportunity to discuss academics, nutrition and fitness, as well as golf instruction. A question-and-answer period provided one-on-one dialogue with currently enrolled student-athletes and young men and women who participated in the day’s activities. Additionally, time was spent discussing the importance of skin cancer prevention with the assistance of the Sun SafeTee program (www.sunsafetee.org).
Five universities and colleges, including Temple, Villanova, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Rutgers-Camden were represented in the 40-plus coaches and players in attendance. “This was a great first step for our initiative with The First Tee program,” said GCAA CEO Gregg Grost. “This outreach effort is something that we have been working on for almost a year and what better way for us to move forward than with one of our Hall of Fame members, John MacDonald, and his outstanding The First Tee chapter in Philadelphia. Currently we have eight events scheduled across the country for the 2010-2011 college season. It is our hope that this effort will grow in the future such that The First Tee programs across the country can reach out to their local colleges and universities for help on a year-round basis.”