Indiana Golf Community,
I’ve been active in Indiana Golf for almost 40 years now. Initially as a recreational golfer; then as a competitive player (at least on my better days!); the past 15 years as a Board member of both the Indiana Golf Foundation and the Indiana Golf Association, and five years ago I became the owner of Old Oakland Golf Club in Indianapolis.
It wasn’t my plan for golf to play such a central role in my life; I was a team sport kid (football, basketball and baseball) growing up. But golf hooked me completely. Why? Because it’s the perfect individual sport. You can never master it. You can play it for a lifetime. You can play it alongside someone of any age, sex, race, income and skill level. And some of the most beautiful spots in the world happen to be golf courses.
It’s also the sport that by far best teaches the lessons of life. In what other sport does a player keep their own score and call penalties on themselves? Golf teaches and instills the core values critical to success in life.
The PGA Tour recognized this 25 years ago, and founded the First Tee to use golf as the vehicle to teach the core values of success in life to young people. Two and one half decades later, the First Tee has reached millions of young people through golf, and taught them the “Nine Core Values.” In Indiana alone we reach 100,000 children annually through our 18 statewide First Tee program locations with our program taught in elementary school physical education classes.
I strongly believe in helping young people, especially those considered at risk, have a greater chance to succeed in life. Because of that, in 2021 I joined the Board of Governors for the national First Tee. At my first Board meeting this summer, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan made a statement that really resonated with me. He said: “Golf is a vessel for good.”
Simple, but profound. The First Tee, and the lives of countless young people that it has bettered, is evidence of that. And it's especially true here in Indiana. We are impacting thousands of young lives each year.
We need your support to continue to grow and expand our programs and reach. Winston Churchill said it best: “we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Will you join me and consider giving to the Indiana Golf Foundation and the First Tee-Indiana?
Indiana Golf Foundation & First Tee-Indiana Board Member
First Tee National Trustee & Board Member
Indiana Golf Association President
Old Oakland Golf Club Owner