2019 Registration Information from Coach Jim

Happy New Year! There will be some subtle changes in registration for 2019 classes beginning with the Spring Session (4/24-6/25 2019). We want you to know about those, and also make a few requests to ease the administrative burden on us and you in registering your children this year. So here are Seven Things That You Should Know:
  1. Schedules are now posted on the Registration Page for all three sessions for planning purposes only. Registration will open on February 2 for all three sessions.
  2. PLAYer and Par classes will be separated. To provide a better product at each level, we have gone back this year to the structure observed by most First Tee chapters, separating the PLAYer (7-8 year old) and Par (9-10 year old) levels. We believe this will be a better and more consistent teaching/learning environment for your participants and our coaches. As has been the case previously, ALL participants 7 or older regardless of age, must start at the PLAYer Level.
  3. Please remember that when you register, your registration is not “Complete” until you have processed your payment (or requested financial aid). If you begin a registration and do not take it through payment within 72 hours, it will be marked “Abandoned” so that it does not deny others who are ready to pay, a chance to register. This is not controlled by us, but by the Salesforce registration software.
  4. Please be judicious in registering your child for ONE class only in each session in which you register. The registration software is not a smorgasbord of alternative registrations. It is a straightforward class list like those used in any school that uses electronic registration. There were entirely too many Cancellations, Abandoned/In Process and re-registrations last year (almost 14%).
  5. There have been some subtle changes in rates this year for TARGET ($65), PLAYer ($100), and Par ($110) levels.
  6. IMPORTANT: For children who will be 12 or older on their first day of class, if this is their initial First Tee experience, we would strongly recommend that they participate in our Rising Teens Class (#150 Spring, #151 Summer, #152 Fall) on Monday evening (ONLY), where they will have an opportunity to complete the first two levels of the program in 8 weeks. Should they fail to complete Par certification, they must enroll for another Par class in the subsequent session. With the split of PLAYer and Par, that means that 12 and olders who cannot make that Monday class will be placed with 7 and olders in a PLAYer class, and while we will do our best to accommodate them, we cannot make any guarantees about advancement beyond the PLAYer level in that session.
  7. The discounts (sibling and military*) will continue in effect.
*The Military Discount will be applied automatically if the Account Holder has identified him/herself as Military when entering a participant for the first time. If you are Active Duty Military and your file is not so annotated, please contact us at 410-730-1114, or via email at [email protected] to have your file updated.

Karlie Zamora Named Female Golfer of the Year

Before the year ends, we are thrilled to share well-deserved recognition for The First Tee of Howard County participant Karlie Zamora, who was named Capital Gazette Sports female Golfer of the Year. We are incredibly proud of her hard work this year, her camaraderie with the other golfers in Anne Arundel County, and that she stuck with it through all 18 holes of the Division V match even though she knew she wouldn’t make it to the State Championship this year. She remained incredibly supportive of the other golfers throughout the final holes that day.
Congratulations, Karlie! Read the full article in the Capital Gazette here, and details about Karlie below.
Karlie Zamora (photo courtesy of Brian Krista, Capital Gazette)
Karlie Zamora (photo courtesy of Brian Krista, Capital Gazette)
  From The Capital Gazette, December 14, 2018: Improvement was the key word this year for Addison Wells and Karlie Zamora. Both had strong seasons last year, but this year their work in the offseason paid off as they won county championships and are the Capital Gazette Communications Golfers of the Year. Just a sophomore, Zamora not only had the best nine-hole average among the county’s female golfers, she was among the overall leaders in the county. Her 43.9 average over nine holes was 12th best in the county. Her defining moment, though, came at the county championship. She finished tied through 18 holes with Broadneck’s Samantha Lynchard, so the county champion would be decided with a one-hole playoff. The pair tied on that hole, so a second playoff hole was required. Zamora won the second playoff hole by a stroke, thanks to a 20-foot putt. “She really was cool under pressure,” North County coach Don Usewick said. “I think that had to do with her years of playing in tournaments.” Usewick said Zamora had a goal to win the county championship, which she did, and qualify for the state tournament. Though she didn’t qualify for the state tournament, she was the top female golfer in the county and finished in the top four of the three girls only matches, including winning one. She also won an overall B Division match when she shot a 41 on Aug. 27 at Compass Pointe for her best round of the year. “She improved from last year to this year,” Usewick said. “It’s her passion, more or less.” Zamora’s performance at this year’s county championship was an 11-stroke improvement from last year when she shot a 98 and finished third. In the first girls only tournament last year, Zamora finished tied for second. This year, she finished first by three strokes on Sept. 18 at Renditions, was second at South River on Aug. 28 and fourth at Bay Hills on Sept. 7. Consistency was a key for Zamora this year. Of the B Division matches where she didn’t finish first, she was two strokes back in one, three strokes off the lead in another, four shots back twice and and five back in the other.

Mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush

“Golf has meant a lot to me. It means friendship, integrity and character.” -George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States and former Honorary Chairman of The First Tee from its inception in 1997 until he was succeeded by his son, President George W. Bush in 201, passed away last night at the age of 94. He was a lover of the game of golf and a devotee of youth development.
Former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said at Bush’s induction ceremony that The First Tee had reached 4.7 million youngsters and “but for President Bush, that would not have happened.”
“He attended openings of facilities. He wrote letters to people that gave money. He traveled, he spoke, he got on the telephone,” Finchem said. “He wasn’t a chairman in name only. He worked at it.” The First Tee community will miss his presence. We offer our profound and sincere sympathy to the Bush family and the nation on the loss of a dedicated public servant, patriot and family patriarch.

2018 Pebble Beach Raffle Winners

We’re pleased to announce that this year’s raffle winner of the all-expenses paid trip for four to Pebble Beach is Fred Yoo of Turf Valley! Congrats, Mr. Yoo!
The cash prize winners are:
$400: Mark Giler
$100: Greg Peel  $100: R.L. Gladden $100: Lonnie Robbins 
Special thanks to R.L. Gladden and Lonnie Robbins who generously donated their winnings back to The First Tee of Howard County.
Thank you to everyone who purchased and sold raffle tickets! For the second year in a row, all 400 tickets were sold, which means that approximately $25,000 in proceeds will benefit our youth programs. We are so grateful to each of you for helping keep our programs affordable, high-quality and accessible to children throughout Howard County.

Sponsor Call: New Branded Shirts for Participants

Would your company like to help grow the First Tee of Howard County?
Our participants often play at other golf courses in The First Tee or other organized events (Metro Tour events, MAPGA or other junior tournaments), or in events like Drive, Chip and Putt© Competitions where the appearance of our First Tee logo worn by our best possible advertisements–our participants–has the potential to broaden interest in The First Tee of Howard County. Today, there are still many adults who have no idea what First Tee is, how it differs from other youth sports organizations, or even how it is markedly different from other junior golf programs. The appearance of our participants in brightly colored, neat First Tee polos is likely to capture these adults’ attention, perhaps lead to greater interest, and help us grow the game of golf. As a 501(c)3 organization, we work to keep fees low in order to allow maximum participation in our programs without the expenses that come with other youth sports programs. We also offer tuition relief where needed, unlike most other golf programs. Actually, our registration fees amount to about $7 per hour for the average First Tee participant. Out of that, we purchase needed text books, shirts, hats, and training equipment for our participants, among other costs. To keep costs down, we have been relying on t-shirts, which run around $4-$7 each. We are planning a change in our uniform requirements for the coming year (2019) beginning with the spring session, and we need your help! If you know a company interested in helping us make our participants look and feel great in new shirts, and get our brand out, we would be happy to have your sponsorship!
We would need to place our shirt order by mid-February in order to put our Birdie and higher kids (11-17 year olds) in royal blue collared polo shirts with coordinated hats. We would embroider a sponsor logo on the sleeve of each polo shirt, in addition to The First Tee of Howard County logo on the left breast. This initiative would require approximately 250 shirts per year, at a probable cost of $4,000 to $6,000 per year, depending on shirt and embroidery cost. We plan to continue with cotton t-shirts for the younger participants. While the t-shirts are fine for our younger kids, our older participants should dress appropriately here and at courses where t-shirts are not appropriate attire.  Costs for collared shirts however, even for reasonably priced polos in a modern fabric with embroidered First Tee of Howard County logo will run $20-$30 based on prices we have solicited. Without a sponsor, we will not be able to absorb this cost. So, if you are interested in becoming or know of a potential shirt sponsor, please contact us at [email protected], or call our office at 410-730-1114. We thank you for your consideration.

The First Tee of Howard County Announces Partnership with Golf Galaxy

We are delighted to announce that Golf Galaxy is a new partner supporting our youth development programs. Our chapter looks forward to including the golf experts from Golf Galaxy at future events. Unfamiliar with Golf Galaxy? Our local store is located right in Elkridge at 6650 Marie Curie Drive. There, you can:
  • Shop the Baltimore area’s best selection of golf clubs, apparel, footwear, tech and accessories.
  • Test the latest clubs in one of our hitting bays, or try out new putters on our huge indoor putting green.
  • Schedule a custom club fitting with Certified Fitters — they’ll make sure your new equipment is a perfect match for your swing.
  • Take advantage of expert golf club repair, everything from regripping to shaft replacement.
  • You can also trade in your golf clubs for Golf Galaxy gift cards, or shop a large selection of gently used golf clubs from top brands–each club is cleaned, inspected and graded on condition.

Meet & Greet with Kassie Zamora

This month, we’re catching up with Kassie Zamora, an Eagle-level player with The First Tee of Howard County who has been part of our program for the last six years, along with her two sisters, Karlie and Kara.
Q: Why did you first get involved with The First Tee of Howard County?
A: My younger sister, Karlie, wanted to try The First Tee so I decided to go along with her.
Kassie with her sister, Karlie
Q: Did playing with The First Tee motivate you to get involved with your school’s golf team? 
A: I joined the golf team at North County High School this year as a sophomore to play on the team with my sister. We were two of three girls on the golf team.
Q: What has been your favorite experience with The First Tee?
A: The extra Girls Golf events and special events like Mother-Daughter and Father-Daughter Golf have been the most memorable to me. Night Golf is a good time, too!
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from participating in The First Tee?
A: Learning to play golf with different people.
Q: How do you see your experience with The First Tee impacting your future?
A: I think The First Tee will give me a better chance of being able to play college golf.
Q: What would you tell other students who are considering getting involved?
A: Make sure you know all of the mandatory requirements and be sure that it fits in your schedule. There are also weekly homework and playing tests, as well as tests on the rules and core values at the end.
Thank you, Kassie, for sharing your experience with us!

Maryland State Golf Association (MSGA) Scholarship Applications Due August 31, 2018

The Maryland State Golf Association (MSGA) Scholarship was organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including to award educational scholarships to students having completed junior year of high school with a bonafide connection to golf.
Awards/Announcements: The MSGA will award scholarships in the order and in the amount recommended by the Scholarship Selection Committee, although the MSGA has the discretion to decrease the number of scholarships to be awarded. The MSGA will publicly announce the scholarship recipients at the year-end annual banquet. The MSGA will be identified clearly as the grantor of the awards. Each scholarship recipient will be notified of his or her award pursuant to a letter from the MSGA. Eligibility: The scholarship program will be open to those individuals who have provided services as employees and/or their children to MSGA member clubs/courses for a minimum of two (2) years, and/or students who have completed their junior year of high school with a bonafide connection to golf. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on uniform objective standards. The same application form and evaluation system will be used for all applicants. All applicants must meet the minimum admissions standards of an educational institution (college, university, junior college, or vocational school) and must reasonably be expected to attend such an educational institution. All eligible applicants must be considered without regard to race, sex, religion, or national origin. Selection: The scholarship recipients will be selected by the Scholarship Selection Committee based solely on objective standards related to the purposes of the scholarships. Each applicant must submit a completed application form. Forms must also be completed by the applicant’s school principal, if applicable. The applicants should be evaluated on objective standards such as past academic performance, performance on tests designed to measure ability and aptitude for higher education, the candidate’s class rank, and financial need. Recommendations from instructors or other persons unrelated to the candidate, extra-curricular activities, and leadership contributions should also be considered. The school principal will submit the completed applications (other than the Candidate’s Statement, which will be submitted by the applicant) directly to the Scholarship Selection Committee in care of the MSGA. The MSGA will determine the amount of funds available in the aggregate for scholarships on an annual basis and will notify the Scholarship Selection Committee of the aggregate available amount prior to the Scholarship Selection Committee’s deliberations. The Scholarship Selection Committee will determine the dollar amount to be awarded to each recipient.
For more information regarding the scholarship and to download the application, visit https://msga.org/learn/scholarship-program/. 
We hope that any and all eligible participants of The First Tee of Howard County will apply for this incredible opportunity for college scholarships! Please note that the deadline is approaching — all applications must be received by August 31, 2018.

Delegate Frank Turner Confirmed to Board of Directors

                      Del. Frank Turner
The First Tee of Howard County is honored to have Maryland State Delegate Frank Turner join our Board of Directors. A resident of Columbia, Delegate Turner has served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 1994, and currently serves as vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee, which oversees legislation relating to education, elections and taxation. Delegate Turner made history when he was elected, becoming the first African American to represent Howard County in the general assembly. He also spent 41 years as a professor of business law at Morgan State University. An avid golfer and champion of children, Delegate Turner will be a tremendous asset to our Board of Directors.

Meet & Greet with Karlie Zamora

 This month, we’re catching up with Karlie Zamora, an Ace-level player with The First Tee of Howard County who has been part of our program for
Karlie (right) with her older sister, Kassie
the last six years, along with her two sisters, Kassie and Kara.
Q: Why did you first get involved with The First Tee of Howard County?
A:I started taking golf lessons when I was 6 and then learned about First Tee from a new friend when I was 8.
Q: Did playing with The First Tee motivate you to get involved with your school’s golf team? 
A: First Tee has been fun. I have made friends there who like golf.  I wanted to play golf since my 6th birthday. First Tee helped me to be ready to play golf in high school. This year as a 9th grader at North County High School I was on the golf team.  I finished 3rd for the girls county championships.
Q: What has been your favorite experience with The First Tee?
A: Playing in the summer Metro Tours has been the most fun part for me.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from participating in The First Tee?
A: Course management.
Q: How do you see your experience with The First Tee impacting your future?
A: It will help me to prepare for college golf. I know that I will always play golf.
Q: What would you tell other students who are considering getting involved?
A: First Tee is fun. You learn a lot and meet other friends who like to play golf too.  I recommend taking the girls only classes like I did.
Thank you, Karlie, for sharing your experience with us!

Meet & Greet with Kara Zamora

This month, we’re catching up with Kara Zamora, a rising Birdie-level player with The First Tee of Howard County who has been part of our program for the last five years, along with her two sisters, Kassie and Karlie.
Q: Why did you first get involved with The First Tee of Howard County?
A: I wanted to be a better golfer. I also wanted to play golf with my sisters.
Q: Did playing with The First Tee motivate you to get involved with your school’s golf team? 
A: I am only going into middle school but I want to be on the golf team in high school. Being in The First Tee will help me.
Q: What has been your favorite experience with The First Tee?
A: My favorite part has been going out to play golf, and the extra clinics and fun events.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from participating in The First Tee?
A: Learning about golf etiquette has been the biggest lesson I’ve taken away.
Q: How do you see your experience with The First Tee impacting your future?
A: It makes me a better golfer. One day I might be a professional golfer.
Q: What would you tell other students who are considering getting involved?
A: I would say “it’s a great experience. You should join. You would love it!”
Thank you, Kara, for sharing your experience with us!