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Foundation Adds Central Indiana First Tee Chapter

The First Tee has awarded the Indianapolis First Tee Chapter to the Indiana Golf Foundation. The Chapter will immediately become The First Tee of Central Indiana, broadening the potential service area to a region from Kokomo to Seymour and Terre Haute to Richmond.

The mission of The First Tee is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

“We are excited to incorporate The First Tee under the Indiana Golf Foundation umbrella,” said Indiana Golf Office Executive Director Mike David. “The First Tee’s philosophy of teaching life skills through the game of golf fits well into what the Foundation has been doing since its’ inception in 1994.”

Through The First Tee’s National Schools Program, over 5,900 kids have been reached at 21 IPS schools in the first two years that The First Tee has operated in Indianapolis. The program is targeted to reach 8,120 IPS kids by June 2012. The National Schools Program is delivered by trained wellness teachers as part of the Wellness curriculum.

“The First Tee of Indianapolis has accomplished some great things in the first couple of years of existence with the National Schools Program,” said David. “Our goal moving forward is to get The First Tee programs into more schools throughout central Indiana and to look for more on-course opportunities for the kids. By coming under the Foundation umbrella there is a tremendous growth opportunity for The First Tee in Indiana.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Kent Knorr, manager of golf course operations for Indy Parks and Recreation.

“Under the leadership of the Indiana Golf Foundation the opportunity for continued success is greatly increased,” said Knorr. “This transition will give The First Tee the best opportunity for growth not only at our Indy Parks Golf Courses, but also throughout Central Indiana.”

According to David, the IGF is working to form partnerships with the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis City Golf Courses to offer The First Tee curriculum throughout the Indianapolis Metropolitan area. Future plans are to expand The First Tee programming to other central Indiana cities. One such program is already in place in Richmond, Ind., and is offered as part of The First Tee of Central Indiana.

“I am very excited for the youth in Central Indiana,” said Al Arrigoni, Associate Director of Mid – South Region Affairs for The First Tee. “The First Tee is committed to the success of young people by introducing the game and its positive inherent values. The Indiana Golf Foundation has at its core a great passion for the game and is the undisputable leader of the game in Indiana. The IGF Board, along with Mike David and his staff have all been a wonderful group committed to promoting the game and its positive inherent values making the collaborative effort a hole-in-one for Central Indiana,” added Arrigoni.

About The First Tee

The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Augustine, Fla., at World Golf Village, home of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to 4.7 million participants and students in 48 states and five international locations – Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore. There are currently 196 First Tee chapters.

The First Tee was founded and is supported by golf's major organizations, including:

· Masters Tournament

· The PGA of America

· PGA Tour

· United States Golf Association (USGA)

· Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA)

In addition, former President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair. He succeeds his father, former President George H. W. Bush, who served as The First Tee’s honorary chair since the organization’s inception in 1997 and shifted to an honorary chair emeritus role.