Six First Tee of the Triad Students Earn National Event Invitations


GREENSBORO, N.C. – – As many of the best junior golfers in the world participate in the 15th annual Haas Family Invitational, a “major” on the American Junior Golf Association tour at Sedgefield Country Club, six Piedmont Triad students are preparing to represent The First Tee of the Triad after being selected to attend national events hosted by The First Tee, the local chapter announced today. The First Tee of the Triad is the local chapter of the international movement to teach children life skills through golf.
Each student submitted an application to these national events in hopes attending; hundreds of First Tee students nationwide applied for entry. Winners were selected by a national panel of judges that evaluated participants’ playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core values learned through their involvement with The First Tee. The students attend these events free of charge.
“Over the last few years, our chapter has been one of the leaders in sending qualified young people into various national opportunities,” The First Tee of the Triad CEO Mike Barber said. “Three of the 81 First Tee students in last year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach came from The First Tee of the Triad – very few chapters have enjoyed that level of success, and we are so very proud of our students. Thus far, we’ve had a young person accepted into every national event offered this year, and that says a great deal about the quality of our students. Thanks to many generous Piedmont Triad companies and individuals, our students are able to attend these events at no expense; we appreciate their generosity very much.”
The students representing The First Tee of the Triad are below along with their essays about how The First Tee of the Triad has impacted their lives:
? Blake Brantley, 14, will attend the University of Georgia event June 12-18 in Hilton Head, S.C. He plays at Winston Lake Golf Club in Winston-Salem and attends the Summit School. The First Tee Impact: “The First Tee of the Triad helped me accomplish many of my goals and dreams. While attending The First Tee classes, I have been exposed to so many different games and activities that have enhanced my golfing abilities while learning valuable life skills. Throughout my years with The First Tee, I have met an enormous amount of new friends; these new friendships have really increased my social skills which have helped me get out of my comfort zone by feeling comfortable interacting with community and business leaders. Finally, I would mention the amazing opportunities you are exposed to when joining The First Tee. I have participated in many of these events, and they have been great experiences. Whether it was getting a lesson from Wake Forest golfers or following a PGA TOUR player at the Wyndham Championship, each one was a wonderful experience. In conclusion, The First Tee of the Triad has truly changed my life for the better. I have learned many positive life skills while being a role model for my chapter, and hope to continue this into the future.”

? Abe Krell, 16, will attend the Life Skills Leadership Academy in Blaine, Minn., July 6-12. He plays at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and attends West Forsyth High School. The First Tee Impact: “I joined The First Tee when I was in fifth grade. I had just moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania. I did not have any friends here in NC. Plus at the time, I was extremely shy and very quiet. So, my mom thought it would be a good program for me to join. I did not want to join at first because I was embarrassed that I did not know how to play golf. I had only played miniature golf, but I was assured that you didn’t need know how to play golf, and I was encouraged by everyone that worked in my chapter to join The First Tee. I am so glad that I decided to join. I feel I would have missed out on so many friendships if I did not join The First Tee. I also feel that The First Tee has helped me learn how to deal with many situations, mainly not being the best at something. It’s a sport that even if you come in last, you hold your head up high, shake hands with everyone, and still feel good that you got out there with friends.”

? Seth Lominson, 18, will attend the National Par 3 Championship in Richmond, Va., June 21-26. He plays at Winston Lake Golf Club in Winston-Salem and is home schooled. The First Tee Impact: “The First Tee has been a second family to me. They have taught me about acceptance, patience, responsibility and perseverance. With learning how to deal with Dyslexia, they helped me overcome being a bully and become a leader in my community. But more importantly, they helped me find my confidence, and self-acceptance. I have had the honor of being a 2015 Outstanding Participate, and playing in the 2013 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. I enjoy helping and volunteering in the community. And I have been an Intern with the National Hickory Championship. Through these experiences I have had the privilege of being honored with the Presidential Volunteer Community Service Award, and the Chiquita Classic Web.Com Volunteer of the week. I believe in staying active through outdoor activities and sports. I enjoy playing golf, pre-1900 hickory golf, running (cross country, road racing, indoor track), biking, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing and rock climbing. Among some of my achievements are the 2016 Jimmy Anderson Jr. Invitational Champion, 2015 Patriot Jr. Memorial Champion, 2013 NCHC National Championship winning golf team and Multiple awards in 5K and Cross Country.”

? Cassie Paulin, 16, will attend the Perfect Sense Digital Pro-Am Challenge in Washington, D.C., on June 20. She plays at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and attends Reagan High School. The First Tee Impact: Cassie has been involved with The First Tee of the Triad since 2010 and is currently an Ace level participant. She volunteers as an assistant coach every spring season and loves teaching and inspiring young kids to play golf. Golf has helped Cassie in many ways. She was shy at a young age, but through golf, she was able to learn how to express herself and be confident in who she is. Today, she plays on the varsity women’s golf team and will be the co-captain this coming year. She is also an active member of the Student Government Association in her school, maintains a 4.5 GPA, and works as a cashier at Harris Teeter. Cassie dreams of graduating from North Carolina State University with a major in engineering and Mandarin Chinese. Her goal in life is to make a difference in the world and share her ideas.”

? Haylie “Bug” Paulin, 14, will attend the Life Skills and Leadership Academy in Blaine, Minn., July 6-12 She plays at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and attends Reagan High School. The First Tee Impact: Haylie is a member of the Reagan High School women’s golf team, which has won the conference seven years in a row, and this year won regionals. Haylie has been an active member of The First Tee for six years. She coaches the girl’s player level and is always happy to help a young golfer learn to have fun in the sport. Haylie is very determined to improve her golf game this year in order to go to the high school state championship. Haylie is very outgoing and positive when it comes to golf and life. She enjoys playing in the Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour and meeting new people who love golf as much as she does. Haylie has a dream of playing golf in college and she hopes to make it her reality.

? Chandler Wilkins, 18, will attend the College Prep Golf Academy in Reno, Nev., June 20-27. He plays at Goodyear Golf Club in Danville, Va., and attends Tunstall High School. The First Tee Impact: “Because of The First Tee, I have become a more confident and caring person. I joined The First Tee when I was eight years old, and all I was concerned about was becoming a good golfer. As I progressed through the different stages of The First Tee, my motivation has been to become a well-rounded person whose interest and skill in golf has grown. I have been taught to set goals such as to persevere through challenging circumstances on the golf course and in life. Most importantly I have learned to give back to the game, to my chapter and to my community, because they have given me so many opportunities and great memories.”

About The First Tee of the Triad:
The First Tee of the Triad is currently operating at 16 facilities throughout the Piedmont Triad, central North Carolina and southern Virginia. Its programming is offered at Bryan Park in Browns Summit, Country Club of Salisbury, Gillespie Golf Course in Greensboro, Goodyear Golf Course in Danville, Va., Greensboro National Golf Club in Summerfield, Indian Valley Golf Course in Burlington, Iron Play Par 3 Links in Summerfield, Jamestown Park Golf Course, Oak Hollow Golf Course in High Point, Rick Murphy Golf Academy in Greensboro, Ringgold Golf Course in Ringgold, Va., Statesville Country Club, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, Winding Creek Golf Course in Thomasville and Winston Lake Golf Course in Winston-Salem. The First Tee of the Triad is one of 180 chapters operating some 1,000 golf programming locations in all 50 states and four foreign countries with more than 10 million participants. More than 7,000 elementary schools participate in The First Tee National School Program.

About The First Tee:
The First Tee, an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, has as its mission, “To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” The goal of The First Tee is to provide the golf-learning facilities and the experience that will enable kids from every walk of life to partake of a game that teaches values for life and which can be played for a lifetime. Founded by the World Golf Foundation in 1997, The First Tee is a way to bring golf to children that otherwise would not be exposed to the game or its positive values. The program is overseen and has the active support of committee members representing Augusta National Golf Club, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the United States Golf Association. Former President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chairman; he succeeds his father, former president George H.W. Bush, who served as the The First Tee’s Honorary Chairman since the organization’s inception in 1997 and now serves as the Honorary Chair Emeritus.