The First Tee has been leading golf’s grow the game efforts since the organization's founding in 1997, and that has certainly been the case along the Carolinas coast.
The Carol S. Petrea Youth Golf Foundation - the parent company of the three chapters of The First Tee spanning the Coastal Carolina region - has been a driving force in youth development, and the organization has now cast its eye towards a prosperous and cooperative future.
On January 1, 2018, the three chapters - The First Tee of Brunswick County, The First Tee of Eastern North Carolina and The First Tee of the Grand Strand - will merge into a unified chapter, the First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas. The new initiative, branded "Drive the Future," will be launched to enable sustained growth across a six-county region as it looks to expand access for its programs and services for young people.
The new organization will cover Horry, Georgetown, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties.
The integration of chapters will enable more efficient use of resources so The First Tee can sustain its growth and impact more kids through golf and the organization's nine core values. The First Tee of the Carolina has the potential to reach up to 90,000 young people.
“The primary mission of The First Tee is to teach young people life and leadership skills to help position them for success in all they do,” said Lindell Bradley, chair of the board of The Carol S. Petrea Youth Golf Foundation. “This initiative will help us create a stronger organization to deliver our programs and reach more children for many years to come.”
The initiative keeps all existing local programs of The First Tee in place and creates a model for sustained growth by:
The “Drive the Future” initiative was reviewed and approved by The First Tee home office in St. Augustine, Fla.
“The First Tee is integral to growing successful individuals, and also to growing the future of this great game,” said The First Tee CEO Joe Louis Barrow Jr. “The First Tee home office is excited about the creation of The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas, building on the strong legacies of the local chapters. This is a strategic step to secure a strong future for our kids and we will continue to provide all the support we can.”