The Tesori Family Foundation hosted an All-Star Kids Clinic at Sawgrass Country Club May 11.
Scheduled to coincide with the 2016 THE PLAYERS Championship, the golf clinic for children with special needs took place the evening before this year’s tournament officially began. Through the event, 25 special needs children were paired with a coach who helped the child practice different golf drills, such as working on their backswing and putting.
Taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the event were PGA Tour golfer Jordan Spieth and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, both of whom also have foundations that assist children with developmental disabilities. Joining with the professional athletes were 20 coaches from The First Tee of North Florida as well as volunteers from the community.
Sawgrass Country Club Director of Golf Greg Lecker said it was an easy decision to say yes to the Tesoris when they first contacted him about hosting the golf clinic.
“From my perspective as a golf pro, introducing 25 kids to the game of golf and getting them to see this environment – getting to share that with them is such a special thing,” Lecker said. “To wrap your arms around the Tesoris and the things they stand for, it’s not hard. This is easy.”
Founded in 2009, the Tesori Family Foundation supports about 20 plus non-profits – both local and national – throughout the year. The idea for the All-Star Golf Clinic came about after the 2014 birth of the Tesoris’ son, Isaiah, who has Down syndrome. Paul Tesori credits his wife, Michelle, with coming up with the idea for the golf clinic to give children with special needs a chance to participate in the sport of golf – the sport that shaped Tesori’s life.
Tesori noted that playing golf is something that anyone can do at any age. After hosting previous All-Star Kid clinics in Greensboro, NC and seeing the kids who participated smiling from ear to ear, he added, he was hooked.
Last week’s event at TPC Sawgrass was the first time the Tesoris have hosted the event in Ponte Vedra.
“It means everything to us,” Tesori said. “Number one, this is my home town, this is where the foundation was formed and it first started.”