On Wednesday, May 19th, international non-profit youth development organization First Tee—North Florida held their 16th annual Taste of Golf Tournament at the famed TPC Sawgrass.
At the event, golfers who signed up were privy to an 18-hole golf scramble tournament with delicious chef-prepared bites at stations scattered throughout the golf course. The participating chefs came from local clubs such as the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, The Lodge & Club, Epping-Forest Yacht & Country Club, The River Club, TPC Sawgrass, and World Golf Village.
The tournament began with a 10:30am shotgun start, and after players were finished with their 18-holes, they were treated to a three-hour long luncheon and deluxe bar experience in the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse. Chefs who prepared culinary bites were also entered in an Iron Chef-like competition where used a mystery basket full of items to compete for the title of Taste of Golf Champion. The winner of the contest was Chef Michael Cowan.
An online auction was also up for grabs at the time of the tournament, with a 2-night stay at the new Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Tiburón Golf Club Foursome at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, and a Dazzling Diamond Bolo Bracelet.
At the luncheon post-tournament, a few participants from the First Tee – North Florida Junior Participants spoke to the crowd about the importance of the work that the organization does.
First Tee – North Florida’s mission statement 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. They pride themselves on providing active learning experiences that develop inner strength, self-confidence and resilience.
The organization has nearly two dozen locations in North Florida alone, with many other locations in cities across the country. Participants are children ages 5-18 who progress through the program over time, deepening their understanding of life skills and golf development. They often partner with schools and other organizations to offer scholarships and outreach programs for children.
The funds raised at the Taste of Golf event went directly towards bringing a positive youth development approach to students from all backgrounds in the North Florida area. This one-of-a-kind golf and cuisine tournament was a success, with dozens of participants out on the course ready to play golf and enjoy supporting a good cause at the same time.