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

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.

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 • PGA TOUR Superstore- Plantation

Tim Rosaforte To Receive Memorial Golf Journalism Award

Jack Nicklaus recently called Tim Rosaforte to congratulate him on being named the recipient of this year’s Memorial Golf Journalism Award. The award was created to honor journalists who served their profession with conspicuous honor and made a major contribution and impact on golf journalism. “It’s pretty surreal to have Jack call to tell you that you’ve won an award like that,” Rosaforte said. “I’ve known Jack for a long time, and it was an emotional moment. It means a lot to be honored at Jack’s tournament.” Rosaforte, a longtime Jupiter resident, was one of golf’s original “insiders” during his four-decade career that included stops at the Palm Beach Post, Sports Illustrated and Golf World. The 65-year-old retired from the Golf Channel a year ago because he has early-onset Alzheimer’s. “Tim has been a great friend for some 40 years,” Nicklaus said. “We first met at Oak Hill at the 1980 PGA Championship, and our paths have crossed countless times since. Tim is also one of this generation’s great golf journalists. “He has developed relationships and trust from so many in the game, and you always know that if there was an important story to be told in golf, Tim was going to be the first call you received and usually the first one to report it.” In late October, Rosaforte became the first journalist – and the 12th person overall – to receive Honorary Membership in the PGA of America. Rosaforte also received the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2014.

Celebrity Pro-Am At The Breakers

First Tee – Florida Gold Coast, the parent organization of First Tee – Palm Beaches, Broward and the Treasure Coast, held its Inaugural Celebrity Pro-Am at the Breakers Ocean Course in December. The event began with lunch at the Flagler Steakhouse with the players, our Chairman Steve Rockoff, Vice Chairman Ken Kennerly and Executive Director of the David Burke Foundation, Ryan Burke. The winning team shot a 13-under par score of 57 in a format of one best-ball net of the foursome. The winning team consisted of the Breakers Ocean course architect- Rees Jones, Peter Helie, Phil Restino and chapter students Felipe Obando and Billy Reid. “We had an incredible day at the Breakers,” said Steve Rockoff, Chapter Chairman. “Everyone had a great day, and it was a lot of fun to have Rees tell the group about the course re-design. It is such a fun course to play.” The proceeds of this inaugural event will benefit our 2021 college scholarship fund and veterans’ programs.

Sponsor Spotlight – Insperity

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 27 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity was co-founded in 1986 in Houston, Texas with the mission is to help businesses succeed so communities prosper. In 2004 they created their own PGA Champions Tour event, called the Insperity Invitational, which is still going strong. Arnold Palmer became their national spokesman in 2004 until his passing in 2016.

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Meet Veteran Participant – William H. “Doc” Dewberry Jr.

William H. “Doc” Dewberry Jr., is 69 and a formerly in the United States Air Force. Doc has been enjoying the sport for 60 years! He has been a participant in one to two of our golf programs each year for the past 3 years. “I have to give special recognition to two First Tee coaches, Ken Tate and Steve Voguit, who have helped me tremendously to re-learn how to swing,” said Doc. “I was a very good player at one time but due to injuries while serving in the military, I lost much of the use of my lower body when swinging a club. They both have given me expert instruction and I am now hitting the ball exceptionally well. I have also gone through two liver operations. To be back out on the course, I have to give special thanks to First Tee – Broward.”