Time To Schedule Club Drives

Time to clean out the trunk and the garage and donate all of that unused golf equipment! Club Drives help us support thousands of young people in Palm Beach County, including those with special needs, and veterans. Typically, the club schedules a two-week time frame for members to drop off donated clubs at the cart barn. Their donations are tax deductible and we give each donor an IRS receipt letter for their tax returns. At the conclusion of the Club Drive, we will come by and pick everything up. We provide signage, example newsletter text and pictures, and receipts. Please contact [email protected] to schedule your Club Drive.

Veterans’ Programs At Dyer Park

Thank you for your service. Our Chapter delivers weekly golf programs to many local veterans. We provide golf equipment, golf instruction and opportunities to socialize and play local golf courses. These programs are open to Palm Beach County veterans, free of charge. Programs occur at 9:30am, Monday through Friday at the Finnegan Learning Center in Dyer Park. For more information and to register for a veterans’ program, please contact Dave McNulty, PGA at [email protected] or 561-324-4176

CMAA 100 – Hole Challenge A Fantastic Success

Chapter Executive Director Carl Mistretta (middle) awarded the winning team shadow boxes to BallenIsles Director of Golf Jeff Fitzherbert, PGA (left) and General Manager Ryan Walls (right) for raising the most money in our annual 100 – Hole Challenge. The members of BallenIsles contributed over $15,000 to the efforts of Jeff and Ryan as they played 100 holes in one day to support our children and veterans. Yes- 100 holes in one day!

Inaugural Leadership Series In Partnership With PGA TOUR Superstore

The First Tee Leadership Series in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore kicked off this month at the Palm Beach Gardens store. 10 students including eight from our chapter participated. The program is an interactive five-week series designed to provide teens the opportunity to discover their personal values and emerging leadership strengths. Through the series, teens also begin to explore potential career fields based on those findings and frame out multi-year goals to guide them as they navigate future career opportunities. The Leadership Series – which was co-created between First Tee and PGA TOUR Superstore – is being hosted in 27 communities across the country where there is a store and a First Tee chapter. PGA TOUR Superstore general managers will facilitate the interactive sessions between Feb. 8 and March 15 either virtually or in stores and chapters, with safe and socially distant protocols in place. Once the participants complete the series, they will be eligible to apply for the First Tee Leadership Summit in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore. The Summit will be held this August at PGA TOUR Superstore Chairman Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. Forty teens will be selected for the Summit where they will take part in interactive workshops and outdoor leadership trainings.

Koepka, Berger Commit To Play In The 2021 Honda Classic

The last two tournament champions on the PGA TOUR have committed to play in the 2021 Honda Classic, our Founding Partner and local PGA TOUR event which will return to PGA National Resort & Spa March 15-21. Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Brooks Koepka and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion Daniel Berger, both Palm Beach County natives and residents, will take on a world class field in this year’s tournament. With priority being on fan safety, the number of spectators allowed on-site will be limited and ticket options are selling out. All tickets are limited to 4 per transaction. On-site ticket or parking sales will not be offered on site. All tickets must be purchased in advance (while supplies last).

Golf Is A Social Distancing Sport – Register Now!

First Tee registration is open at multiple program locations in Palm Beach County. Please visit our website to learn more about class days and times at the following locations: • Michael B. Finnegan Learning Center- Dyer Park • John Prince Golf Learning Center • Seagate Country Club • Commons Park Golf Learning Center • Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course • Madison Green Country Club • Village Golf Course • Okeeheelee Golf Course • Wellington National Golf Club • The Golf Club of Jupiter • Southwinds Golf Course • PGA Tour Superstore- Palm Beach Gardens

Veteran Spotlight – Scott Siegel

Scott Siegel is 64 years old and formerly served in the Air Force. He has been playing golf for 2 years but used to play weekly when he was younger. He has been a participant in our 8-week programs for about 2 years. “I was reintroduced to golf while at the Blind Rehab Center at the West Palm Beach VA. I lost 90% of my eyesight 12 years ago due to Diabetes and Glaucoma. I never thought golf would be a part of my life again,” said Scott. “I was told about the program here in Broward County and signed up as soon as I could. The coaches gave me clubs that were better than the ones I used when I played regularly. I have made friends with the other veterans who are in the sessions. The coaches are great and always teach techniques to improve our game. If you are having a problem, they are willing to give you the extra attention to help make your game better and be more enjoyable. Thank you First Tee for being there to help us.”

Sponsor Spotlight – PGA TOUR Superstore and The Arthur Blank Foundation

PGA TOUR Superstore’s goal is to inspire people to play their best and grow the game. As a part of the Blank Family of Businesses, they observe their Core Values that include: Giving Back to Others, Include Everyone and Put People First. Their Core Values are an important part of how they operate each day. The PGA TOUR Superstore loves the game of golf and wants to share that passion to help inspire a new generation of golfers and help lay the foundation for a brighter future. That is why they work closely with the local chapters of First Tee in each of their stores. “I have witnessed the development of many young people through our partnership with First Tee,” said Jared Varnum, Plantation PGA TOUR Superstore General Manager.  “First Tee’s Nine Core Values align with our values in assisting others to develop character that will empower through a lifetime of challenges.  We are excited to assist First Tee and help develop our leaders of tomorrow.”

Outreach Program – The David Posnack Jewish Community Center

The David Posnack Jewish Community Center recently began their 2021 First Tee Broward Outreach program. The center is located in the heart of southwest Broward County. At the “J”, they are dedicated to making a difference in peoples’ lives on a daily basis. From infant to senior, year-round, the “J” is a place that offers endless possibilities for you and your family to grow. First Tee – Broward is offering a four-week Program Enrichment Classes for students with special needs.

Great Time At Cooper Colony Open House

Recently the Cooper Colony Golf and Country Club conducted their Winter 2021 Open House to welcome children and parents to learn more about and register for our program. Coaches Hector Zapata and Ivan Mayor are beginning their second year with First Tee Broward and are reaching many young people in their community to teach our life skills curriculum through the game of golf.

Celebrating Black History Month

Remembering a Legend: Calvin Peete By First Tee Staff  Calvin Peete earned the title as the best golfer in the world on March 31, 1985 when he won THE PLAYERS Championship. Born in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 1943, Peete was one of his father’s 19 children between two marriages. Oddly enough, he was viewed as ‘Most Likely to Not Succeed’ by many of his teachers. He grew up living in various places from Detroit to Hayti, Missouri, in addition to a farm in Pahokee, Florida. At the age of 12, Peete fell from a cherry tree near his grandmother’s house in Hayti and broke his left elbow in three places. Surgeons repaired the fractures, but the elbow joint remained permanently fused, leaving him unable to ever fully straighten his arm. At the age of 15, while living in Florida, Peete dropped out of school. For several years, he supported himself by selling clothes, watches, jewelry, stereos and other wares to migrant farm workers up and down the east coast. It was in Rochester, New York in 1966, at the age of 23, where Peete was introduced to the game of golf and “tricked” into playing. A couple of colleagues played golf and would often invite Peete to play, to no avail. Peete had no interest in playing golf which he considered to be a sport “for old white men.” Peete once said he “didn’t want to chase a little white ball around in the hot sun.” On a day when Peete’s colleagues invited him to a “barbeque,” they ended up at a golf course. His colleagues gave him two options: sit in a hot car or let them show him how to play golf. Peete chose the latter. His colleagues, now turned golf instructors, showed him the grip, stance and posture. When Peete recalled the story, he said when he first put his hands on the club, he heard a voice in his head saying, “Calvin, this is what we want you to do.” That first day, he fumbled his way through the round, getting the ball airborne a few times. By the end of the day, he went to the nearest pawn shop and bought his first set of clubs. Moving back to Florida, golf became Peete’s obsession. He looked for driving ranges with floodlights so he could practice at night. He also took a night job managing apartments in Fort Lauderdale so he would have more time for golf. He would go out to a small public park every day just to hit golf balls on repeat. Peete was strictly self-taught. He had never even watched a tournament. He read some books on the game, set up a camera to take photos of his swing, and even invented his own grip and swing. As time progressed, Peete studied the swings of golf greats like Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. He compared the videos of himself with others. Within five years, Peete was breaking 80. During a rain delay while playing with his group of golf buddies, they sat in the clubhouse and watched Lee Elder and Jack Nicklaus playing in the American Golf Classic. Peete was in awe that a black man was playing with the best golfer in the world, and it sparked a thought that if he worked a little harder, he could be out there with Elder and Nicklaus. So that’s what he did. He worked a little harder. By 1975, after three attempts at getting his PGA TOUR card, Peete completed the PGA TOUR Qualifying School and joined the TOUR in 1976, going on to win his first tournament – the Greater Milwaukee Open – in 1979. While playing professional golf and raising a family in 1982, Peete earned his high school equivalency (GED), making him eligible for a U.S. Ryder Cup Team position. He went on to become a member of the U.S. Team in 1983 and 1985. He won the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson Award in 1984. For 10 years in a row between 1981 – 1990, Peete was the most accurate driver, being nicknamed “Mr. Accuracy” by his fellow golfers. In all, Peete won 12 times on the PGA TOUR, two international events and two Ryder Cup teams all within 10 years. Among his wins, THE PLAYERS Championship was his most coveted and earned him the position of being the most successful African American golfer at that time. He won with a score of 14-under 274, a record at that time that was matched years later by none other than Tiger Woods. Peete once said that he never experienced any racism from his fellow players and or the fans. He always said that the greats before him like Ted Rhodes, Pete Brown, Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder carried the weight for him. He was forever grateful to them for paving the way. Calvin and Pepper met in 1987 at the Bill Dickey East West Golf Classic fundraiser and had their first dance to “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean. They married in 1992 and had two girls who were First Tee participants and went on to earn college golf scholarships. Between Calvin’s two marriages, he had seven children – three boys and four girls. Calvin’s favorite movies were Godfather I and Godfather II, and an old war movie called Midway. His favorite musical artists were Sam Cooke, The Temptations, The O’Jays and Marvin Gaye. Calvin is the late husband of First Tee headquarters’ Manager of Chapter Services, Pepper Peete.