Veterans Spotlight – Robert Ketterer

Robert is a U.S. Navy veteran and has been playing golf and participating in our programs for 4 years. “I use the game of golf, and the First Tee Program, to meet veterans from across the country,” said Robert. “I’ve met interesting people and coaches through this program and it has pushed me to learn new skills later in life.”

Veterans Golf Programs Continue To Thrive

Our Chapter, in partnership with United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED and three of our local country clubs with a generous grant from the Mangurian Foundation are pleased to offer three 8-week golf coaching programs, open to all veterans, FREE of charge. PGA professionals and First Tee coaches will provide expert instruction on the game, the use of adaptive equipment when necessary, and are paired with our heroes by ability to create an inclusive environment that keeps veterans in the game and promotes camaraderie and fun. Programs are underway at The Club at Weston Hills, Pompano Beach Golf Course and Eagle Trace Golf Course. For new players, golf equipment will be provided. Class size is limited to 15 veterans in each program. To register, for an upcoming class please email: [email protected]

Corporate Spotlight – Steady Returns

Would you benefit from a long-term relationship with a financial professional you trust—one who clearly answers your questions, provides ongoing financial coaching & advice, and manages your investment portfolio so that you may enjoy your retirement years? “Over many years meeting with clients in their homes and offices, my brother Michael and I have seen that while some people prefer to be financial do-it-yourselfers, many others are simply not interested in following the financial markets or making important financial decisions by themselves, said Director of Client Service and Chapter Director Christopher Burr (pictured above). “They want to work with an advisor.” “People do not want to feel like just a number, having their hard-earned assets flipped to a new, inexperienced person every other year. Or worse, having to call an 800 number to speak with someone they have never met. Instead, they want consistency. They want someone they know they can rely on, someone easy to get ahold of who knows them and their financial situation intimately.” In 2012 Steady Returns LLC was formed, an independent registered investment advisory (RIA) firm, dedicated to getting to know our clients, putting their interest first, and managing their investments independently and transparently. If this type of advisory relationship resonates with you, please visit or call Chris directly at (561) 400-5970. Why do we support First Tee – Broward? “After learning about the Nine Core Values of the First Tee and reflecting back on our lives and how our parents provided us the resources to play golf, take golf lessons, and travel to junior tournaments, we decided there is no better way to give back to our community and the game we love than to get involved with fundraising for the children who do not have the financial resources to practice and play, as well as providing the opportunity for our military veterans to participate in free golf and life lessons.” – Christopher Burr, Steady Returns

Introducing the 1% First Tee Club

We encourage all golfers to contribute at least 1% of their annual golf expenditures to their local First Tee program. How much do you spend on golf? Do you want to join us in the 1% First Tee Club? Feel free to call me directly to discuss how to get involved, whether financially or also as a volunteer.

New Program With Life Developmental Center

First Tee Broward began a new 2021 golf program with the Life Developmental Center in Pembroke Pines. This special needs program will be conducted over nine consecutive weeks at the center. Nine athletes ages 25-42 will be introduced to the game of golf and the First Tee life skills program. First Tee Recognized Coaches Robert Ferzoco is teaching the program with the help of one staff member each week from the developmental center.

Congratulations To 2021 Chapter Award Winners

Sean Kicker – Coach of the Year Sean Kicker, PGA and Recognized First Tee Coach pioneered a First Tee program at Grand Palms Hotel – Spa and Golf Resort and now has over 90 participants registered, 4 First Tee Assistant Coaches, and 2 volunteers that help each week. As the Director of Golf, Sean hosts the First Tee Broward/Special Olympics Florida golf program free of charge at his facility.
Ryan Shimony – Participant of the Year Ryan joined our Chapter three years ago as a ninth grader and is enrolled in the program at Parkland Golf and Country Club with Coach Jonathan Smith, PGA. Our students progress through levels by demonstrating inner strength, character, and the life and golf skills they have learned. Ryan has reached Birdie level, which emphasizes setting goals and making them a reality. Ryan has participated in in our 100-Hole Challenge for three years running and has raised over $12,000 to support our Chapter!

Special Olympics New Program Partner

Our Chapter began a new 2021 golf program with Special Olympics Florida. We send a special thank you to Spirit Airlines and Chapter Director Laurie Villa in assisting with funding for this program. This new program will run 9 consecutive weeks on Saturdays at the Grand Palms Hotel-Spa & Golf Resort in Pembroke Pines. Nine athletes, ages 18 and up, were introduced to First Tee with hopes to train and compete in the Special Olympics golf competitions in the Fall. Golf clubs were provided for those who needed them. Athletes also each received 2 sleeves of golf balls. First Tee Recognized Coaches Robert Ferzoco and James Rondeau are teaching the program along with Special Olympics Nova Agency Coordinator Greg Mingo.

Golf Is A Social Distancing Sport – Register Now!

First Tee registration is open at multiple program locations in Broward County. Please visit our website to learn more about class days and times at the following locations: • Grand Palms Hotel-Spa & Golf Resort • Hollywood Beach Golf Club • Parkland Golf & Country Club • Pompano Beach Golf Club • Cooper Colony Golf & Country Club • The Club at Weston Hills • The Bridges at Springtree Golf Club • Eagle Trace Golf Club

Coach Ron Castillo, First Tee – North Florida

Golf is a fun and challenging platform for growth, helping kids and teens build the confidence to show up to a challenge, the resilience to keep going when they fail, and the inner strength to do the right thing, even with it’s the hard thing. For today’s youth, First Tee provides mentors who help them write their personal growth story. Ron Castillo, First Tee – North Florida Program Director since 2017, has been a part of First Tee since 2001. “I moved back to Atlanta after working as an assistant golf professional in Hilton Head, SC. I called one of my professional mentors and told him I was looking for a job. His reply was, “yes, I’ll always have a job for you. Come by tomorrow.” I have been involved with First Tee ever since. Speaks volumes to having a Go-To Team!” For twenty years he’s been a coach, a mentor and a friend. He can tell you stories about numerous participants and families he’s gotten to know and how their kids have grown to be college graduates, doctors, entrepreneurs, husbands, wives, parents, and yes, professional golfers.  When he joined First Tee, he was ready for the next stage in his career. He stays for something much more personal. “Simply put, I stay because I absolutely love what I do. Being a coach at First Tee has helped me be a better husband and father. I find myself thinking about First Tee lessons when advising my son and making decisions for my household.” Coach Ron shares with us why golf is the perfect sport for learning lifelong skills and fostering personal growth.

Chapter Students Play In The 12th Annual Raymond Floyd Open

Our Chapter has enjoyed a very long and continually growing partnership with the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course. Each year, the Par 3 Foundation funds three weeks of summer camps for our students at the course. These funds are raised each year at the Raymond Floyd Open. Our Chapter sends a team each year to compete in the tournament. This year’s team was comprised of our pro- Coach Connie Capanegra, LPGA, chapter students Kai Francis, Asha Farrelly and Tyler Mistretta and Chapter Executive Director Carl Mistretta. Our team finished in fourth place on a match of cards to the third place team headed by Par 3 Foundation Board member and Chapter Trustee Bob Simses. The victory cost Mistretta a crisp $20 bill handed over to Trustee Simses during lunch. “The Par 3 Foundation and Raymond really enjoy supporting the students of First Tee,” said Bob Simses. “This golf course is truly unique and we are delighted to share it with the students whenever we have the opportunity.” Special SHOUT OUT to Tony Chateavert, PGA and Angie Young of the Palm Beach G.C. for putting on an awesome day!

Chapter Wins Outstanding FYCCN Partner

First Tee – Palm Beaches was awarded the Regional Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN) 2021 Outstanding Partner Grand Prize Winner! Florida Wildlife Commission Commissioner Gary Nicklaus contacted our Chapter to propose a golf and fishing pilot program. As a professional golfer and avid fisherman, Gary understands that the lakes on golf courses are typically rarely fished. Combining golf and fishing presents an incredible opportunity to bring together two sports that share in outdoor recreation. FYCCN aims to uphold Florida’s outdoor heritage by educating and empowering Florida’s youth and educators with outdoor know-how and conservation concepts. Chapter students are ready to start fishing again once COVID is over and we can again visit area golf courses.

Congratulations To 2021 Chapter Award Winners

Zack Anderton – Coach of the YearZack has been a First Tee Coach for 4 years and runs multiple classes during the week at Dyer Park. Zack is a graduate of Keiser University and currently in the PGA program. In a challenging year, Zack persevered and safely delivered many First Tee programs to our participants.
Alex Holland – Participant of the YearAlex attends our Saturday morning Special Needs class. He loves to play the game of golf and interact and socialize with his peers and coaches. Alex is always willing to help his friends and encourage them to try their very best at golf and life.
Tony Mansueti – Volunteer of the YearTony has been volunteering for 3 years on Saturday mornings with the Special Needs class. He also has two children, Savannah and Anthony have been apart of our chapter for 10+ years. Tony is always willing to go above and beyond, with a smile on his face. We are so thankful for him! Well deserved Tony!