This month, we’re catching up with Ace-level participant Megumi Fukuzawa, a rising junior at Centennial High School, where she plays on the varsity golf team. Read on to hear about why The First Tee has been important to Megumi, and stayed tuned next month to hear from her brother, Takumi!
Q: How long have you been a participant with The First Tee of Howard County?
A: I began with The First Tee two years ago in the summer before my freshman year of high school.
Q: Why did you first get involved with The First Tee?
A: My younger brother was already in The First Tee, and whenever his coaches saw me, they would always encourage me to try golf. Watching my brother and hearing his coaches encouraging me to play got me to join The First Tee. Q: What level are you currently playing at with The First Tee? A: I am currently in the Ace level in The First Tee. Q: Did playing with The First Tee motivate you to also get involved with your school’s golf team? A: The First Tee gave me the courage and confidence to try out for the golf team at Centennial High School. In the fall, I will be a junior and I will be playing for the third year on the varsity team. I am extremely proud of how far I have come in the past two years. Last season, I was able to earn my spot on the second team of the All County Girls Golf Team. Q: What has been your favorite experience with The First Tee? A: Recently, I went to go watch the Kingsmill LPGA Championship with The First Tee, and I was given the opportunity to walk inside the ropes for the whole day with Nelly Korda and Brittany Altomare. It was such an unforgettable and special day, and I am so grateful. Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from participating in The First Tee? A: The biggest lesson I have learned from participating in The First Tee is giving back. The First Tee has made a great impact on my life both inside and outside of golf, and I feel that it is important to give that same experience to others both inside and outside of The First Tee. The First Tee has motivated me to become involved in community service clubs at school, and I am currently in six clubs. I also mentor two First Tee classes on the weekends, and watching the kids enjoying golf and being enthusiastic about going to class is really special to me. Q: How do you see your experience with The First Tee impacting your future? A: The Ace level focuses on four things: community service, career, college, and golf. Through this, Ace level golfers are able to build onto their golf skills and “people skills”. The First Tee is preparing me to be college and career ready, and this is really important since junior year is getting closer. Q: What would you tell other students who are considering getting involved? A: I would tell other students who are considering getting involved that it is never too late to join The First Tee and play golf. As an older starter in golf compared to others who may have started years ago, it may be nerve-wracking, difficult, and tedious at first, but know that perseverance is the ultimate key to success. I remember many times in the beginning when I doubted myself and wasn’t sure if I was ever going to improve, but my coaches and peers always supported me. Don’t be scared to get out and try something new; come to The First Tee!