Tag Archives: First Tee

A First Tee Student Feature: Proof that the First Tee Program is Making a Difference

Please join us on Monday, April 15, as we celebrate and support the future of golf with the First Tee. The PAGCS partnership with the First Tee is only possible with your help and support. Click here for full details, registration, and ways to support.

Before we get to the feature story below, did you know: The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP] is growing every year. Of special note is the First Tee’s National School Program here in the region. “The program helps elementary students learn about the basic skills of golf through safe and fun activities. By also incorporating The First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits, we’re putting students on course to a healthy and active lifestyle.” [Courtesy of the First Tee website: www.thefirsttee.org]

Also of note is TFTOGP’s expanding satellite locations. Programs are available at Applecross Country Club, Abington Club, Bensalem Township Country Club, City Line Sports Center, FDR Golf Course, Warminster Township Five Ponds Golf Club, Flourtown Country Club, John F Byrne Golf Club, Rossi Golf & Sport Center, Valley View Golf, as well as Walnut Lane Golf Club.

Below is just one highlight that proves the program makes a difference in students’ lives.

Student Experience: Saving the Golf Team — and Other Ways I Learned to Lead
by Victoria Wajda

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If you’re thinking about playing golf for the first time, here’s what you need to know:

It doesn’t matter if you’re good or not. You just have to be ready to get frustrated. That’s not a bad thing, because golf will teach you to persevere — so when you do succeed, you get a huge boost of confidence.

That sense of accomplishment is one of the things I love most about golf. So when I found out my team at John W. Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls was getting cancelled due to low membership, I didn’t give up. Instead, I took action.

We had three members, but we needed six. I started attending school open houses to share my love of golf. I encouraged girl after girl to think about playing. After months of conversations, my efforts paid off. We doubled our membership — and saved the team! And three short years later, we’re setting literal records.

In October, our team — now with eight members — won the Philadelphia Catholic League Girls’ Golf Championship. The year before, I won first place individually in the Philadelphia Scholastic Athletic Association District XII Golf Championship.

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It was our school’s first team championship title in 22 years — and the first time a Hallahan student won that title in the history of the school. I’ll never forget how the whole school went wild.

That’s the kind of place Hallahan is. Our community is small enough that everyone gets a chance to speak up and take on new challenges. When you succeed, people see it — and celebrate. No good deed goes unnoticed.

Having that support and sisterhood has made me a stronger leader. I always feel comfortable voicing my opinion and pushing for change — whether as a school ambassador, a participant in my forensics class (my favorite!), the captain of the golf team, or as a member of SpeakUp!, a program where students can discuss tough topics with adults and one another.

I’m excited to use those skills next year when I start college. I haven’t decided on a school yet, but I am grateful to have scholarships to my top picks — which, of course, all have golf teams.
Part of me is looking forward to a new adventure. Another part of me is nervous. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that even if things get difficult, I can persevere — and win big.
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Victoria Wajda is currently a senior at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School located in Philadelphia. This article was originally posted at https://www.aopcatholicschools.org/exploreaops/student-experience-saving-the-golf-team-and-other-ways-i-learned-to-lead/?fbclid=IwAR0jGqsXIfYXVbMjt217FI0NtvJVH3mUw6D9IW0Pc9VKrA104i51RKdoz1M as well as on TFTOGP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheFirstTeePhilly/

PAGCS Volunteer Day at TFTGP THIS Thursday, Nov. 1

PAGC Volunteer flyer for Nov 1stThe 2018 PAGCS Volunteer Day at Walnut Lane, the home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTGP] is THIS Thursday, November 1. There are multiple projects planned, from drainage to tree and brush clearing. We just need bodies and
chainsaws—please considering volunteering and/or sending members of your staff to help. Email pagcs1925@gmail.com to sign up.

The PAGCS has played a large part in the continued success that the TFTGP is seeing. The improvements to the golf course have changed the entire dynamic of the program. That the golf course can stand on its own and not take money away from the program is not something that was envisioned only a few years ago. This past year, 19,000 children in the Philadelphia area were impacted by TFTGP!

Features of the day include Dalessandro’s famous cheesesteaks, filming by Inside Golf and more.
Schedule
7 a.m. Continental Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Work Begins
12 p.m. Lunch
Send an email to pagcs1925@gmail.com to sign up.

PAGCS Teams Up for First Tee!

This fall, during Thanksgiving week, the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents held what has become their annual volunteer event at Walnut Lane Golf Club. Walnut Lane Golf Club is an Arthur Findlay design that is owned by the City of Philadelphia and leased to The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia [TFTOGP].

A few years ago, the PAGCS began helping with the fall aerification, providing a volunteer force made up of a members. Now, under first year superintendent, Ben Davies, the staff at Walnut Lane has been able to complete aeration in house. So, this year, when Ben was approached about what would help the facility the most, he came up with some projects that could make a big difference in his continuing efforts to improve the turf quality.

15867 (2)First up was the 7th hole, which is next to the maintenance facility. There has been a drainage issue causing water to collect on the front of the green and to the left of the approach after any rainfall.

The second and main project was trying to create more airflow by the 10th and 3rd greens. The 10th green is the most difficult on the golf course to maintain. It has all the characteristics of the worst scenarios when trying to grow turf, including minimal sunlight, airflow restriction from trees, and a low-lying area that does not drain well. Thirdly, there was a significant need of stump grinding on the property.

As a request went out to the PAGCS membership, the first person to volunteer was Bill Brown, CGCS (20-year GCSAA Member) of Aqua-Aid. Bill offered the services of their Imants Root Pruner, a process that the golf course was in dire need of! Next to chip in were Shreiner Tree Care and Arader Tree Service, offering large commercial stump grinding services. To fill out the volunteer list were members from Lehigh CC, The Ace Club, Philadelphia CC, Huntingdon Valley CC, and Bala CC. Also donating their time were Mike Janzer (17-year GCSAA Member) from Plantfood Co., Jeff Hass from Golf Cart Services, Sumner Cross (31-year GCSAA Member) and Matt Brown from Lawn & Golf Supply Company and Andy Barone from Ventrac.

At the end of the day, the entire course was root pruned, all the old stumps on the course had been ground, and the 3rd & 10th Greens had significant tree removal from their surrounds. Also, the area around the 7th green had a new drainage system installed. Finally, there was also significant brush removal completed throughout the course using two Ventrac mowers.

All of this was topped off with a traditional Philly Cheesesteak lunch and a talk from special guest Mike Quick, a hometown favorite and Philadelphia Eagles Great, who currently serves as a TFTGP Board Member and works as the color analyst for the Philadelphia Eagles radio broadcasts. The PAGCS, TFTOGP, and Walnut Lane Golf Course are pretty sure the day could not have been more successful.

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Bill Hyndman, Executive Director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia had this to say:
“The Walnut Lane Golf Club and The First Tee are grateful to the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents. The course would not be in the shape it is today without the support and dedication of the many superintendents, crewmembers, and vendors who have helped us for a number of years. These individuals, who all have difficult jobs themselves, selflessly take time each year to help us, and we can see that they have made a tremendous difference. Thank you for helping us make a difference for our kids and for golf.“

To say that the course has gone through a revitalization, might be an understatement. In the last 3 years, the course has received a much-needed reinvestment. There has been over a $500,000 in TFTGP investments and kind services donated! The involvement of people like Frank Shuman (GCSAA 45 Year Member) TFTGP Board Member and longtime PAGCS member and PAGCS Past President & TFTGP past board member, Jay Parisian (25-year GCSAA Member) have been key in the current momentum at Walnut Lane Golf Club, home of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia!
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About the author:
Bill Corcoran is a 20-year GCSAA Member, Board Member of the TFTGP and a Commercial Representative on the Board of the PAGCS

PAGCS and Service: It’s Just What We Do

This week in January, every year, we are reminded to serve our communities, our fellow human beings. It is part of the annual celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday.

The PAGCS honors a tradition of service and a spirit of community all year long through many efforts and programs. Not the least among these is serving The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia.

This past September, the PAGCS held Aeration Days at Walnut Lane Golf Course, one of the homes of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. Check out “Inside Golf” and its coverage of the PAGCS Aeration Days at Walnut Lane in this video [coverage of the Aeration Days starts at 13:45]: click here.

PAGCS Presents Top Award to Frank Shuman at Annual Meeting

The PAGCS 2015 Annual Meeting provided an opportunity for the Association to recognize some of its esteemed members. Among them, Frank T. Shuman, the 2015 recipient of the Eberhard Steiniger Award for service to PAGCS and the turfgrass industry.

The Eb Steinger award is presented to a turfgrass professional in the Philadelphia Region who exemplifies the spirit of Eberhard Steiniger, CGCS. No one in the PAGCS ranks does this more so than Frank Shuman. Frank is a tireless advocate of the golf course superintendent and selflessly devoted to advancing the profession and the game of golf.

The Eb Steiniger award is in honor of a man who dedicated his life to the game of golf by advancing the profession of golf course superintendent. Eb was the longtime superintendent at Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, NJ. His innovative research, mentoring of future superintendents, and professional involvement locally and nationally have made him a legend in the profession.

Many of the same things can be said about Frank, and more. As PAGCS Member Bill Corcoran said in his nomination letter, “Over the years, Frank has helped the PAGCS in many ways. He has also assisted people in the golf industry who were down on their luck. Not a few time, but on many occasions. All with the intent that no one found out.”

It is because of Frank’s devotion that the PAGCS is able to award a scholarship each year to a deserving turf student: “he has entrusted our association with over $20,000 to award scholarships at our discretion! To my knowledge we have bestowed 10 applicants various monitory awards that have assisted them in pursuing a career in turfgrass management with the funds Frank has unselfishly donated to us,” attests Jay Parisien, CGCS.

It would be horribly remiss to close without also mentioning Frank’s devotion to The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. In honor of Frank and the First Tee, the PAGCS sold Mulligans at the Annual Meeting and donated all the proceeds to Frank and the First Tee. Frank promptly matched the funds, and last we heard, Walnut Lane Golf Club, home of the First Tee here in Philly, now has a lovely new backpack blower and commercial grade trimmer.