Students, Coaches, parents, Board Members, volunteers and supporters had a fantastic time during our last Saturday session of the year at the Finnegan Learning Center in Dyer Park. The morning began with exercise and stretching for everyone with Austin Hetzer from the Florida Institute of Performance (pictured below left). The students were next given a sleeve of golf balls to celebrate the birthday of Chapter supporter, John Stark (pictured below right).

Our students then competed in a Golf Skills Challenge rotating through stations of putting, chipping, sand and full swing. Of course, for our younger participants there was a giant inflatable hippo and shark to try and hit balls into the animals’ mouths!

Hall of Famers Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon then spoke about their incredible professional playing careers and answered questions regarding their journey through competitive golf and how they managed to win so many tournaments (pictured above left to right: Beth Daniel, Coach Suellen, Meg Mallon and Coach Connie). The two Hall of Famers then presented the winning students from the skills challenge with their prizes (pictured below left).

Our third featured Hall of Famer of the day was Dennis Walters (pictured above right). Dennis entertained the crowd with his inspirational story that dreams can come true with hard work and PERSEVERANCE (one of our Nine Core Values). He hit some incredible trick shots for the audience including his 3 headed 3-iron, the radiator hose shafted club and his famous rapid-fire machine gun shot. Special guest, Adrien Pendaries, a junior on the Duke University golf team and the #1 ranked college golfer in the country was introduced by his grandfather, Chapter Director Dr. Ed Slotnick. Dr. Slotnick of course took all of the credit for Adrien’s incredible career! Adrien spoke with members of the Palm Beach Gardens and Benjamin high school golf teams about the commitment and dedication needed to play college golf. Adrien then hit balls with Chapter students to compare their Trackman numbers (pictured below left: Adrien with Chapter student Felipe Obando and Coach Anthony Coletta).

The day concluded with a delicious BBQ and special thanks to Jersey Mike’s for providing subs! Coach Sam and Coach Tom rocked the back deck with saxophone and keyboards (pictured above middle). Veterans from the Navy Seal Museum broke out their air cannons and let students and coaches fire some golf balls down range (pictured above right: Rick Ortiz and Ray Dillman).


CLICK HERE to donate. In 2019, each of our programs utilized the Life Skills Experience curriculum of The First Tee, based on The Nine Core Values and The Nine Healthy Habits. Funds raised through the Annual Appeal support green-grass program locations, coach training, age appropriate clubs and grants for elementary and after school programming. As we continue to expand our programming throughout Palm Beach County, the Annual Appeal also generates funds to assist children and Veterans who may not otherwise have access to the game of golf. Please consider supporting our Chapter in your end of year charitable giving.


George C. Zoley is a Greek-born American businessman and the Chairman, CEO and Founder of The GEO Group. The GEO Group is a leading service provider for secure facilities and processing centers, as well as, rehabilitation and community reentry programs through the GEO Continuum of Care. Zoley recently became a National Trustee of The First Tee and his gift will support our Chapter. He recently attended the annual Trustee meeting in Pebble Beach, California to meet fellow Trustees and learn even more about our youth development organization from home office staff and national Board Members. “We are pleased to welcome George to The First Tee family and sincerely appreciate his generous support of our chapter,” said Steve Rockoff, Chapter Chairman. “His gift will help in many ways including the funding of community outreach programming and with our annual college scholarships.” The GEO Group is committed to making a difference in the communities in which it operates. Every year, through its charitable foundation, The GEO Group Foundation, GEO supports charities, schools, community organizations, and higher education scholarships for students across the country.   The GEO Group Foundation pursues this goal by making charitable grants to local nonprofit organizations, schools, and public entities to help them meet their philanthropic goals and public purposes. One of The GEO Group Foundation’s main goals is to help deserving students within its local communities achieve their education and career goals through higher education scholarships.


The LPGA is back in South Florida January 20 – 26, 2020 at Boca Rio!!  The tournament is asking for our support and dedication to make it an incredible first year.   There are opportunities to volunteer and attend the Junior Clinic. There are currently 170 Volunteers registered. The ultimate goal is to have 500 Volunteers by January 20th so please spread the word about these volunteer opportunities. VOLUNTEER PACKAGE – Two (2) Official Tournament Golf Polos – One (1) Official Tournament Hat or Visor – Official Tournament Volunteer Pin – Volunteer Badge acts as Weekly Grounds Pass – Two (2) additional Weekly Grounds Passes $65 Registration Fee HOW TO REGISTER Visit https://gainbridgelpga.my-trs.com • Click “Register” • Choose the Volunteer group • Click the plus sign (+) next to desired committee to expand • Check the box on the right for day and shift time (Minimum 2 shifts required) Volunteer questions? Please Contact Brad Hilton at [email protected] or (317) 501-4026.  The Gainbridge Junior Golf Clinic will take place at Osprey Point Golf Course on Monday, January 20, 2020 from 3:30pm- 5:00pm. The day will feature many different golf instructional activities including hitting, putting, chipping, and physical fitness for junior golfers to participate. Not only will the junior golfers improve their skills and knowledge of golf from certified golf instructors, they will also learn from some of the best LPGA female golfers in the world.  To register, please CLICK HERE.


For 8 years, our Chapter has sponsored a First Tee program in Belle Glade. Our program partner is the Christ Fellowship Life Center that serves the youth and families of Belle Glade. Each week, students from the Life Center are transported to Belle Glade Municipal Golf Club for golf and life skills programming with Coach Robbie Rush, PGA. With a little help from an anonymous donor and Trustee partner Morell Studios, our Belle Glade golf students (pictured above left) sponsored Thanksgiving dinner for their families and friends through the Big Heart Brigade. “At Thanksgiving, the Big Heart Brigade and thousands of volunteers feed over 25,000 people in our community,” said Carl Mistretta, Chapter Executive Director. “It was heartwarming to extend some of these meals to our students and their families in Belle Glade.”


The leftover turkey is gone and the first cold fronts have moved through…….which can only mean one thing: The Honda Classic is right around the corner! The Honda Classic brings the world’s best PGA TOUR players to Palm Beach County, providing a week of entertainment for the entire community. Each year, our Chapter plays a tournament the Monday morning after The Honda Classic, including the same Sunday pins from the PGA TOUR event. This year’s “Monday after” tournament will be conducted on Monday, March 2nd 2020. Please CLICK HERE for more “Monday after” information and for the registration form. It sells out quick, please do not delay your entry. Need tickets or hospitality to The Honda Classic February 24 – March 1, 2020? Please CLICK HERE.