On Monday, May 7, The First Tee and PGA Tour unveiled The First Tee Experience at THE PLAYERS Championship, a new 5,000-square-foot, interactive venue featuring golf-themed games and activities for kids and families.
Located in The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone, the air-conditioned facility welcomes kids of all ages throughout tournament week, allowing them to participate in scaled versions of The First Tee’s signature programs currently offered in schools, at youth centers and at golf facilities around the country and the world. Among the fun activities are a golf ball pit, virtual reality stations, golf simulators, arts and crafts and digital photo booths.
“The idea is that The First Tee is looking to transform the experience that kids and families have with the game of golf,” said Keith Dawkins, chief executive officer of the First Tee. “This really represents an exciting opportunity for us to activate here locally, a signature event on the PGA Tour schedule and bring The First Tee to life for everyone here locally and everyone around the country and around the globe.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, as well as former commissioner Tim Finchem, participated in unveiling the facility and discussed the Tour’s partnership with The First Tee and commitment to growing the game.
“We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for the First Tee,” said Monahan. “This is a program with chapters across the country, including right here on the First Coast. To get kids involved with The First Tee and to have them experience the game coming out of THE PLAYERS would be a great experience.”
The First Tee Experience will be open from Tuesday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Founded by golf’s governing bodies — LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA Tour and the USGA — The First Tee is a nonprofit organization that introduces kids to the game of golf and its inherent values through partnerships and programs in more than 10,000 elementary schools, 1,300 youth centers and 1,200 golf facilities. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has grown its network to deliver programs in all 50 states and at various international locations. For more information, visit www.thefirsttee.org.