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.
History of the First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association
The First Tee, is a division of the World Golf Foundation, has as its mission to impact the lives of young people around the world by creating affordable and accessible golf facilities to primarily serve those who have not previously had exposure to the game and its positive values. Our goal is to provide the facilities and experiences that will enable kids from every walk of life to partake of a game that teaches values for life and which can be played for a lifetime.
History and Background of The First Tee
Research conducted by the National Golf Foundation Studies showed that the major revealed that only two percent of children aged twelve to seventeen ever try golf and that only five percent of this nation’s golfers are minorities. barrier to attracting more children, and especially economically disadvantaged children, to the game was the lack of places that welcomed them, places they could physically get to, and places that they could afford. The First Tee was created to address these access and affordability issues.
The First Tee is overseen and has the active support of a committee comprised of members representing golf’s major organizations including the PGA of America, PGA TOUR, the Augusta National Golf Club, Ladies Professional Golf Association and Untied States Golf Association. In Addition, former President George Bush serves as Honorary Chairman.
When The First Tee was announced in November 1997, an initial goal was established of having 100 facilities in some form of development by the end of the year 2000. The First Tee announced that it had surpassed this goal on August 27, 2000 with 129 facilities in development spanning 38 states with one in Canada.
As it enters the 21st Century, The First Tee has evolved its goals for the long terms by seeking to impact the lives of 500,000 youths.
The First Tee
Individual responsibility, respect, integrity and confidence are all among the traits that can help a young person on the road to success. Unfortunately, these are also traits that are often identified as missing in the character development of many of our young people today. To the extent these traits are missing, it is not because our youth have rejected them, but it is because they have not had the opportunity to be taught these lessons in an engaging way.
Sports have been traditional vehicles for teaching such lessons, and there is one sport in particular that not only teaches positive life lessons, but also depends on an adherence to them for its very existence. That sport, of course, is golf.
It is a game in which there are no officials to call a breach of the rules. It is a game where only the individual participants know if the score the handed in is the score they actually shot. It is a game with a rich history and timeless traditions that invites respect for the old and wonderment of the new. Most of all, golf is fun. The game is never solved, perfection is never achieved, and there is always the opportunity for improvement and success. It is also a game where the raw beginner can play a competitive match with the most seasoned expert, It is a game where youngsters can delight in playing with each other and it is a game suited to the young and old playing together – if they have a place to learn and play the game at all.
History of the Dade Amateur Golf Association
In 1981, the Dade Amateur Golf Association (DAGA) began a year-round program of weekly tournaments for Junior Golfers to be played on a variety of the better Dade County golf courses. At the time this was considered one of the most ambitious Junior Golf programs to be undertaken in the entire United States.
Early in 1982, the DAGA officials approached the owners and management of the world famous Doral Golf Resort & Spa with a proposal that a major Junior Golf tournament be staged annually at Doral Golf Resort & Spa during the Christmas school break. Junior Golfers from all over the world would be invited to participate on Doral’s famed courses, which in addition to the world-wide publicity generated by the event, would ensure significant room sales at the resort during a normally slack period.
Doral management was most receptive to the idea and, as host, agreed to donate the use of as many of its’ golf courses as would be required. Initially, the tournament was 36 hole, stroke-play event that drew more than 200 entries, representing 23 states and 6 foreign nations. However, as a result of its’ immediate popularity the 1983 tournament was expanded to the present 54-hole, stroke-play format.
Today the tournament attracts over 120 entry applications, with over 600 young golfers being accepted into the field. In all, all US states and 43 foreign countries are represented annually making this one of the world’s largest and most prestigious tournaments in all of Junior Golf. In 2013, the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) agreed to add the Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic tournament to their list of approved and rated events making this event even more prestigious.
The First Tee Miami – Dade Amateur Golf Association (DAGA) is internationally recognized as one of junior golf’s strongest and most innovative supporters, raising funds to stage its many organized events through strong community support and various fund-raising activities. The majority of our support for our programs is given by Publix Super Markets, the Trump National Doral Golf Resort & Spa, and The Nat Moore Foundation.
Special Olympics Training
With more than 70 schools in the Miami-Dade area representing over 2076 athletes have training sessions to train for the Special Olympics. Dade Amateur Golf Association supports the Miami Dade Public Schools Recreation Programs for Students with Disabilities, CFDA #84.1285 and the proposed project, the R.O.A.D. to Success, Recreational Opportunities for All Disabilities. The game of golf has been called “the game of a lifetime” because it has no age limits. Children as young as two years old hit golf balls and people play golf well into their 80’s and 90’s.
- Matt Pendleton