"First Tee" May be Coming to The Heartland

"First Tee" May be Coming to The Heartland
By: Wes Wallace

Cape Girardeau, MO - A new golf program for kids and teens may soon swing into action in Cape Girardeau. "The First Tee" is a national initiative targeting inner city or underprivileged youth. It teaches kids not only the game of golf, but also life lessons away from the links.

"It's a win win situation," says Greg Choate, Vice President for Community Development with the Cape Girardeau Jaycees, "Life skills with an emphasis on nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. The golf skills are taught on the course, but the core values that accompany the game are learned in the classroom."
The First Tee helps students ages five to eighteen, and has seen great success on a national level, says Lydia Dewees, President of the Cape Girardeau Jaycees, "The results from the program nationally as far as grades and character building has been astounding."
The program will include all five Cape Girardeau County golf courses, with a majority of the initial training at Arena Golf. Even though First Tee is primarily in larger cities, those involved and backing the local level concept say Cape is the perfect location.
"We couldn't ask for any better help. The community is just pulling together more and more. People are coming forward offering their help, resources, and equipment," says Greg Choate, "It's just perfect."
"In Cape, when we started looking, it's just getting the word out. We have five courses in two cities," explains Lydia Dewees, "We know people love golf here, and of course they love children, so you know they're gonna want to support First Tee."
For more information on the program, you can log onto www.thefirsttee.org or contact the Cape Girardeau Jaycees.