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Trio of First Tee Fort Smith members played impressive courses this summer

Trio of First Tee Fort Smith members played impressive courses this summer


Christian Griffith, from left, Allen Deaver and Mason Goodson earned trips to prestigious golfing events.



Three young men of The First Tee of Fort Smith saw their dedication rewarded this summer when they were invited for special golfing opportunities at nationally prestigious courses in California, New York and South Carolina.


Allen Deaver, Christian Griffith and Mason Goodson were selected for both their leadership and ability, both of which are emphasized by The First Tee program.


Christian Griffith went to Hilton Head, S.C. in June as one of 52 First Tee participants nationwide to be invited to the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. Griffith recieved instruction on all aspects of the golf game from LJGA instructors, including mental and fitness training. Just for fun, the young golfers were treated to trips to the beach, a dolphin cruise and kayaking.


Allen Deaver flew in July to Nassau County, New York's Eisenhower Park Golf Course for a First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy. Some 96 other First Tee players from around the nation were asked to enjoy character and leadership development combining golf with lifeskills activities and career exploration. Deaver also got to play golf on the prestigious Village Club of Sands Point at the former Guggenheim estate. The golfers were housed at Hofstra University for the week and also were treated to New York City-area outings to museums, a beach and boat cruise.


Also in July, Mason Goodson got the privilege of playing on two of the most beautiful golf courses in the world - Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course on California's Monterey Peninsula.

The Nature Valley First Tee Open was a 54-hole golf event pair Champions Tour players with First Tee junior golfers from chapters around the country in a best-ball format. He and his professional partner shot a 70-71 in the first-ever event held by First Tee.


Goodson, who started at First Tee of Fort Smith at the age of 5, competed for the chance to go in an application process that involved writing five essays, submitting a golf resumé, showing his community service and experiencing an interview.


Goodson took along a caddy - First Tee Life Skills director Chris Murphy.


These three accomplished members  exemplify the ideals of the First Tee of Fort Smith. At the Jack Stephens Youth Academy Course near Ben Geren Regional Park, the First Tee of Fort Smith has encouraged thousands of children from the ages of 3 to 17 to learn not only to learn to play golf, but to improve all their life skills.


The First Tee prioritizes achievement in education and character growth as well as the sport of golf and guides youngsters towards healthy choices and life-enhancing values.


The First Tee fall programs for all ages of kids begin in September. Schedules and membership information can be found at its website, thefirstteefortsmith.org or by calling 479-648-9833.


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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online