St Augustine, Florida, United States: The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the First Tee, a youth development organisation dedicated to helping youth build character through the game of golf, will debut the ‘Junior Experience featuring First Tee’ at the 119th US Open.
The Junior Experience is one of a series of initiatives in which the two organisations have committed to deliver in 2019 to support the growth and long-term viability of golf, which also includes the continuation of an extensive annual First Tee chapter grant programme funded by the USGA. Since First Tee’s inception in 1997, the USGA has provided more than US$26 million in grants to the organisation.
A dedicated and interactive area for kids of all ages and their families to enjoy throughout the US Open week at Pebble Beach (June 10-16), the Junior Experience featuring First Tee will be located within US Open’s Fan Central. The space will help connect youth attending the US Open to the excitement and values associated with golf and First Tee programmes offered throughout the country.
Highlights of the immersive experience include First Tee’s hands-on putting green, chipping challenge, golf simulator, large-scale colouring wall, photo booth and more.
In addition, First Tee is encouraging more young people nationwide to take up the game and learn the life skills and values inherent to golf and embedded in First Tee programmes through a sweepstakes offered in advance of the championship. Families can sign up their kids for summer or fall programmes at one of First Tee’s 150 chapters throughout the country by May 15 and enter to win a complimentary trip for two to the 2019 US Open and visit the Junior Experience featuring First Tee.
“I am excited to evolve our partnership with USGA around the idea of deeper engagement with kids and families attending what is clearly one of sport’s premier experiences, the US Open at Pebble Beach,” said First Tee President Greg McLaughlin. “We look forward to leveraging the Junior Experience to build awareness for First Tee programmes around the country, as well as a launching point for many kids to transition from witnessing the game at the highest level, to beginning their own journey.”
Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, said: “We have been proud to play a role in welcoming millions of juniors to the game through our relationship with The First Tee, and the on-site experience provides yet another pathway to introduce our newest fans to the fun and excitement that Major championship golf offers.”
Thanks to the US Open’s junior ticket policy, complimentary junior tickets are available on-site at Will Call every day during the championship, regardless of a sellout. There is a limit of two junior tickets per one adult ticket holder.
Junior tickets for ages 12 and under are complimentary on any day when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Junior tickets for ages 13-18 will be available for purchase at a reduced price when accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
The First Tee introduces kids to the game of golf and its inherent values through programmes in all 50 American States and select international locations.