First Tee

Golf Canada receives funding from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities in support of First Tee – Canada

Generous contribution by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities will help provide accessible golf opportunities for equity-deserving youth across Canada.

TORONTO, August 2022 – Golf Canada is proud to receive funding from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities (Jumpstart) in support of First Tee – Canada.

The generous contribution from Jumpstart will support the national rollout of First Tee – Canada, with a focus on engaging underserved communities. Since launching in 2021, there are more than 80 First Tee program locations across Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces.

First Tee – Canada provides youth aged five to 18 with affordable access to learn the fundamental skills of golf while reinforcing the life skills and values learned through sport. First Tee programming is delivered at schools, community centres, and golf facilities with curriculums and coach training specifically designed for each of these environments.

Jumpstart’s contribution will support First Tee – Canada program locations in equity-deserving communities across the country. Funds will be directed towards providing equipment, training, signage, and other materials to support the progression of participating youth from community centre programming to their local golf course.

Since 2005, Jumpstart has helped youth across Canada overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation.

Jumpstart is proud to be a part of First Tee – Canada’s growth and its positive influence within communities across the country.

“Jumpstart is proud to support Golf Canada in building greater equity and diversity in golf,” said Scott Fraser, President of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “Jumpstart believes every child deserves access to sport. By supporting the national rollout of First Tee – Canada, children from equity-deserving communities will have the opportunity to build their skills, self-confidence, and social connections through the game.”

Together, First Tee – Canada and Jumpstart will put more clubs into the hands of Canadian youth and empower them to reap the benefits of sport.

“We are fortunate to share with Jumpstart the common goal of advocating for youth and enriching their lives through sport,” said Adam Hunter, Director of Grow the Game for Golf Canada. “Jumpstart’s funding will accelerate the growth of our youth development program towards the goal of evolving golf participation demographics to more closely reflect Canada’s multiculturalism.”

As a not-for-profit program, First Tee – Canada and its positive impact on communities would not be possible without the generous support of organizations like Jumpstart.

“Jumpstart is a national leader in advocating for youth and championing the value of sport. We are extremely grateful to them for providing meaningful support and sharing our vision of Building Game Changers across Canada,” said Martin Barnard, CEO of the Golf Canada Foundation. “The pace of growth and philanthropic commitment behind First Tee – Canada since launching has been incredible. It is an exciting time for junior golf in Canada and we cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Golf Canada Foundation is the funding partner for First Tee – Canada, drawing on an extensive national donor network to fund programming and major gift Trustees to launch chapters across the country.

With over 25 years of operation, First Tee has grown into an international network that has positively impacted more than 15 million young people, comprising over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States, as well as six international chapters. Golf Canada joined forces with First Tee in 2020, and First Tee – Canada was born.

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation are continuously pursuing corporate partners and gifts which allow for more chapters and program locations to launch in Canada. For more information on how to get involved, or to donate to First Tee – Canada, visit www.firstteecanada.ca.

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About First Tee – Canada

First Tee – Canada is a non-profit youth development program operating under Golf Canada since 2020. In partnership with First Tee, Golf Canada launched First Tee – Canada to provide educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. First Tee – Canada continues to expand programming and engage youth at golf courses, schools, and community centres in deserving regions across the country.

For more information and to learn how to support First Tee – Canada, visit firstteecanada.ca.

About Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charity committed to ensuring kids in need have equal access to sport and recreation. With an extensive, national network of more than 1,000 grantees and 289 local chapters, Jumpstart helps eligible families cover the costs of registration, transportation, and equipment, and provides funding to selected organizations for recreational infrastructure and programming. Supported by Canadian Tire Corporation, Jumpstart has provided more than 2.7 million opportunities for Canadian kids to get in the game since 2005. For more information, visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca.

Follow Jumpstart on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to learn how the Charity is giving kids across Canada a sporting chance.

About Golf Canada Foundation

The Golf Canada Foundation is the leading source of golf philanthropy in Canada, granting more than $12 million to golf programs since 2012, and $13.4 million invested in the sport since the Foundation’s inception in 1979. The foundation’s mission is to support and promote programs that increase participation in golf by engaging players of all ages and abilities across Canada. For more information about what the Golf Canada Foundation is doing to support golf in communities across the country, visit www.golfcanadafoundation.com

About Golf Canada

Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada, representing more than 304,000 golfers and 1,435 member clubs across the country. A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada’s vision is to be a world leader in golf and to achieve the mission to increase Canadian participation and excellence. For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit www.golfcanada.ca.

Media Contact:

Madelyn Boelhouwer | Senior Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, First Tee – Canada | Golf Canada | 905-467-6086 | mboelhouwer@golfcanada.ca

First Tee

Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games Showcases First Tee – Ontario

28th edition of the Canada Games helps introduce First Tee – Ontario, youth-focused golf and life skill development programming, to the Niagara Region.

NIAGARA, August 2022 – The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games are pleased to support and collaborate with Golf Canada and the Ontario chapter of First Tee – Canada to further enrich youth in the Niagara Region.

The 2022 Canada Games take place from August 6th to the 21st, welcoming over 5,000 young athletes and coaches to compete for the podium in Canada’s largest multi-sport event. Niagara 2022’s golf competition will take place at the beautiful and challenging Legends on the Niagara’s
Battlefield Course with practice rounds on August 15th and 16th followed by four competition rounds from August 17th to 20th. Ten provinces and one territory will compete in teams of two boys and two girls for both team and individual medals. Golf Canada will conduct the competition along with a team of 2022 Canada Games staff and volunteers.

On Tuesday (August 16), First Tee – Ontario invited a group of local children to Legends on the Niagara Golf Course to join a day of fun activities. The group participated in a First Tee golf clinic using the driving range and practice green and got the special opportunity to walk alongside an
athlete as their “honourary caddie” for one hole during practice rounds.

The activation provided an opportunity for children and families to learn more about what the game of golf has to offer through First Tee – Ontario, and for youth to witness first-hand the endless opportunities available to them in the world of sport.

The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games promote community development, youth advocacy, and sport development. The Niagara 2022 Host Society is excited to support a like-minded program such as First Tee – Ontario.

“We are proud to share our platform with, and spread awareness of, First Tee – Ontario,” said Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games Sport Lead Tracy Murphy. “This is a program that aligns with our values and provides youth with the opportunity to experience and reap all the benefits sports have to offer. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with First Tee – Ontario and wish the program success and prosperity in the Niagara Region, and beyond.”

First Tee – Ontario is delivered at golf facilities, schools, and community centres with curriculum and coach training specifically designed for each of these environments, providing youth aged five to 18 with affordable access to learn fundamental golf skills, and life skills and values developed through sport.

Programming began in late 2021. To date, there are 11 First Tee – Ontario program locations across the province, two of which are in the Niagara Region. Locations are primarily chosen to engage with equity-deserving groups and under-served communities.

“We are grateful for the support and excitement from Canada Games. The positive impact that First Tee can make within communities would not be possible without our generous and supportive network,” said Golf Canada’s Grow the Game Director, Adam Hunter. “We hope the group had fun, learned something about sports, or themselves, and went home with a smile on their face. That’s what First Tee – Canada is about, providing youth with an inclusive space to feel empowered through sport.”

Golf Canada joined forces with First Tee in 2020, and First Tee – Canada was born. There are currently more than 80 program locations operating under provincial chapters in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and the Atlantic regions. As the program grows, First Tee – Ontario continues to pursue new program locations.

For more information on how to get involved, or become a program location, please visit firstteeontario.ca/ or contact Amaya Athill aathill@golfcanada.ca.


About the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games
At the peak of Niagara’s boldest summer yet, more than 5,000 up-and-coming athletes, their coaches and support staff will gather in the Niagara Region to compete for the podium in Canada’s largest multi-sport event. From August 6 to 21, 2022, Niagara will surge stronger than ever on the national stage. The 2022 Canada Games, made possible thanks to funding and support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Niagara Region, and the Canada Games Council, will give rise to new
legacies of ambition, confidence, and compassion that will inspire generations to come.

For further information, visit us at niagara2022games.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@2022canadagames).

About First Tee – Canada  
First Tee – Canada is a non-profit youth development program operated by Golf Canada since 2020. In partnership with First Tee, Golf Canada launched First Tee – Canada to provide educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values for youth through the game of golf. First Tee – Canada continues to expand programming and engage youth at golf courses, schools, and community centres in deserving regions across the country.  

For more information and to learn how to support First Tee – Canada, visit firstteecanada.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact Madelyn Boelhouwer mboelhouwer@golfcanada.ca.

First Tee

For Every Flower That Blooms: First Tee – BC and Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy

Pathways to success often depend on access to experiences and opportunities. Unfortunately, across Canada, many children all too often lack the resources or access to empowering extracurricular activities, such as sports or organized recreation.

Knowing the positive impact that sport can have on a child’s life, Golf Canada’s junior programming through First Tee strives to break down barriers to accessing the game of golf. First Tee – Canada provides inclusive youth development activities to participants as young as five years old, using golf as a vehicle to support the personal growth and confidence of children.  

First Tee – Canada programming is offered at golf courses, schools, and community centres in regions across the country with specifically designed curriculum and instructor training for each of these impactful learning environments.

On traditional Musqueam First Nation territory alongside the Fraser River lies The Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy. This tree-lined golf course and driving range [in/near Vancouver, B.C.] is home to First Tee – British Columbia.

The delivery of First Tee – BC programming at Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy began in the fall of 2021 and despite the program’s infancy, there has been an outpouring of positive feedback from the community.

“These kids have been using golf as an outlet, (and) feel a sense of inclusion and safety at the golf course,” says Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy General Manager Kumi Kimura. “They never knew how much fun golf was and that it [can] help as a healthy escape from [a sometimes] not so healthy world.”

Registration for 12 participant spots fills up quickly. The hour-long sessions are grouped by age, varying from seven to 12, and coached by PGA of Canada professional Kelvin Ko and First-Tee Certified Coach Jody Kinsman. Along with learning the fundamental skills of golf, children experience the opportunity to develop or further reinforce many of the life skills and values learned through sport.

Kimura shared a personal story of the opportunity First Tee – BC presented to siblings participating in the program—children who were dealing with familial troubles at home and seeking a positive outlet.

“(To) get out of the house, and still be together as siblings, they found refuge here. They fell for the game… I knew this was not something the kids could afford, however, through First Tee activities, we are beginning to support their development and provide for them as a community.”

For some children, sport can the mean the world; a positive escape where individuals learn about themselves, build confidence, understand commitment, and develop healthy habits—all values worth carrying for life. Together with the support and generosity of donors, First Tee – BC and Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy have introduced the sport of golf to children who might not have otherwise experienced the game.

PHOTO CREDIT: MUSQUEAMGOLF

Golf has often battled a perception that the game is exclusive to the affluent. By creating “hubs” consisting of schools, community centres, and accessible golf courses within a small radius, First Tee – Canada is working to debunk that perception, one community at a time. And with a strong philanthropic community of donors supporting First Tee – Canada, many program locations provide equipment and offer registration at no cost.

In striving to be a world leader in the sport, Golf Canada is committed to changing the face of golf to better reflect the multicultural strength of the Canadian population. First Tee – Canada is providing opportunities, relationships, and experiences for children that are laying the foundation for a more diverse game.

“I believe these are stories that need to be told,” says Kimura. “Golf is no longer an elitist game, but a game for all people, in the good time and the bad.”

The relationship that First Tee – BC has created with the Musqueam community, and the positive impact on participants is a testament to the power of sport, and better yet, the future legacy of First Tee – Canada. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Colby Johannson

The program’s impact on youth is reflective of the facility’s impact in its community. The name Musqueam relates back to the flowering plant, məθkʷəy̓, which grows in the Fraser River estuary. Like flowers, children grow and develop in different ways, in a healthy, safe, enriching environment.

By virtue of the land, the collaborative efforts of First Tee – BC, Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy and the game of golf, for every flower that blooms this summer, a child will too.

For more information on how to donate to First Tee – British Columbia, please visit firstteebc.ca.

First Tee

First Tee – Canada: Producing better golfers and better people

Kevin Blue doesn’t hesitate when asked to provide his best “elevator pitch” about the First Tee—Canada program. (An elevator pitch is a concise, easy-to-understand summary of a concept.)

“First Tee—Canada will provide a welcoming environment for kids from all Canadian backgrounds to learn golf and the associated life skills that go along with the sport,” says Blue, Golf Canada’s Chief Sport Officer.

Since its unveiling in August 2020, First Tee—Canada’s purpose of “Building Game Changers” doesn’t only refer to the game of golf.

“First Tee introduces the game of golf and its inherent values to young people,” the program launch press release stated. “Through after-school and in-school programs, we help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance.

“Our mission is to impact the lives of youth by providing educational programs that build character, promote life-enhancing values and healthy choices through the game of golf. In collaboration with the PGA of Canada, First Tee—Canada instills character development as a fundamental element of Golf Canada’s junior golf program.”

It’s long overdue, but golf has recently taken an assertive approach to increase equity and inclusivity in the game. First Tee—Canada focuses on creating welcoming introductory experiences to golf for youth, with particular emphasis on reaching communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the sport. The possibilities are endless, and PGA of Canada CEO Kevin Thistle is excited about it.

Thistle says First Tee—Canada provides PGA members with an incredible opportunity to “deliver this amazing platform to a diverse range of young golfers and to dispel many of the stereotypes that have traditionally been associated with golf. This (program) is the perfect vehicle because it aligns so perfectly with our association’s values.”

Harold Varner III, who recently finished in the top 25 in his Masters debut, is an ambassador for RBC Community Junior Golf in support of First Tee – Canada. RBC, in partnership with Golf Canada, will implement First Tee – Canada programming at municipal and publicly accessible golf courses across the country. First Tee locations supported by RBC Community Junior Golf are chosen with a purposeful lens, focused on building greater diversity and equity in golf, thus creating “hubs” of accessible public golf courses, schools, and community centres in underserved communities. 

Harold Varner III First Tee - Canada
Jeff Vogan/ Golf Canada

“I understand the positive impact sport can have on a young person’s life. It can open doors and present opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available,” said Varner.

Still, in its relative infancy, First Tee – Canada is rolling out gradually in communities across the country. The goal is to launch First Tee – Canada Chapters in every region of the country by the end of 2022 and to enroll 100,000 participants in First Tee programming by 2024. Current chapters in operation include British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

As with most nonprofit programs, expansion is dependent on funding. Since the program launched, more than $8M in pledges have been raised in support of First Tee – Canada including major chapter-founding gifts to jump-start the program.

“First Tee—Canada is funded largely through philanthropic contributions,” Blue emphasizes. “It is dependent on the generosity of individuals and companies. It’s really gratifying to see how many have stepped up because they believe in diversifying the sport.”

Since its inception in 1997 in the United States, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations.

The network has grown to more than 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the U.S. as well as international chapters in Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco and now Canada.

First Tee - Canada

While the all-encompassing program is centred around golf, that activity is just part of the experience aimed at strengthening character by teaching life skills that will last forever. These include understanding and managing emotions, resolving conflicts, setting up step-by-step goals, planning for their future, and appreciating diversity.

First Tee—Canada is open to youth of all ages and skill levels. Kids as young as five are welcome to participate. The goal is, after being introduced to the program, juniors will advance through various stages of the program up until 18, where they will begin to set goals around career and education.

First Tee programming will be delivered at schools, community centres, and golf courses with specifically designed curriculum and coach training for each of these environments. The PGA of Canada’s robust training framework ensures all Canadian coaches are well equipped to deliver First Tee.

First Tee—Canada may help develop better golfers in the future but, much more importantly, it will give us better people.

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation continue to work with prospective donors who wish to support First Tee nationwide programming. For more information on First Tee—Canada, how to get involved or to donate, visit www.firstteecanada.ca

First Tee Media Release

RBC Community Junior Golf supports First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course to build greater diversity and inclusivity in the sport

Today, RBC announced the first wave of publicly accessible golf courses selected to join RBC Community Junior Golf, a new initiative designed to build greater diversity and inclusivity in golf by creating affordable access to the sport for youth in underrepresented communities across Canada.

In partnership with Golf Canada, RBC Community Junior Golf will support the implementation of the First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course programs at municipal or publicly accessible golf courses, with the goal of engaging 15 facilities in 2022. The courses were selected based on accessibility to local public transit as well as proximity to community centres, with an intentional focus on regional and diverse representation.

By 2023, RBC Community Junior Golf is expected to engage more than 10,000 young people by delivering free First Tee programming, which teaches life lessons through the game of golf, as well as $5 Youth on Course green fees to select Canadian courses across the country.

RBC Community Junior Golf First Tee - Canada
Jeff Vogan/ Golf Canada

RBC Community Junior Golf locations:

· Chedoke Golf Club – Hamilton, ON

· Club de Golf Municipal Dallaire – Rouyn-Noranda, QC

· Club de Golf Les Rivières – Trois-Rivières, QC

· Humber Valley Golf Course – Etobicoke, ON

· Legends on the Niagara – Niagara, ON

· Mill River Golf Course – Woodstock, PEI

· Peel Village Golf Course – Brampton, ON

· Tam O’Shanter Golf Course – Scarborough, ON

· Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course – Brantford, ON

· Whitewater Golf Club – Thunder Bay, ON

“As a long-standing supporter of golf and an advocate for youth, RBC is proud to bring RBC Community Junior Golf to life,” said Shannon Cole, Vice President, Brand Marketing, RBC. “We believe that sport has the power to build character, teach valuable life lessons, and provide opportunities for young people to grow, and we are excited to work with Golf Canada to provide First Tee and Youth on Course programming across the country.”

Canadian youth ages five to 18 years can benefit from programming at one of the ten participating golf courses. RBC Community Junior Golf participating facilities will work with community centres or schools in their local area to register youth participants. For more details, visit the RBC Community Junior Golf website: https://www.golfcanada.ca/rbcjrgolf.

Golf Canada is grateful to have a like-minded partner in RBC with a shared intentional focus to increase access to junior golf, especially for youth from backgrounds that historically have been underserved.

“The enthusiasm from RBC to advance the sport and provide funding to introduce the game to a diverse range of young golfers at municipal and especially publicly accessible facilities has been extraordinary,” said Kevin Blue, Chief Sport Officer, Golf Canada. “RBC Community Junior Golf will accelerate the delivery of First Tee programming across the country and with RBC’s support, golf will be a vehicle to foster life skills and positively impact Canadian youth from all backgrounds.”

PGA TOUR professional golfer and Team RBC ambassador Harold Varner III serves as an advisor for RBC Community Junior Golf and helped launch the initiative at Humber Valley Golf Course in Toronto – a participating location – last September. He was joined by youth from the Rexdale Boys and Girls Club, where he offered advice and guidance for reaching one’s potential both on and off the course. Learn more about the launch event and Harold’s and RBC’s vision at RBC Stories.

Harold Varner III RBC Community Junior Golf First Tee - Canada
Jeff Vogan/ Golf Canada

“RBC Community Junior Golf will give many kids who don’t currently have access, the opportunity to play golf and experience all of the benefits associated with the game,” said Harold Varner III, Team RBC ambassador. “I’ve always been passionate about introducing young people to golf, and I’m excited to champion this initiative that will provide youth across Canada with an equal opportunity to play the sport I love.”

One of the important ways RBC brings its Purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper to life is by empowering young people. RBC Future Launch is the bank’s $500 million commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, including $50 million in focused funding to create meaningful and transformative pathways to prosperity for 25,000 BIPOC youth by 2025. In addition, through the RBC Heritage and RBC Canadian Open tournaments, RBC has helped raise over $35 million in support of local charities in Canada and the United States.

To learn more about RBC Community Junior Golf in support of First Tee and Youth on Course, visit golfcanada.ca/rbcjrgolf.

First Tee

12 Days of Golf in support of First Tee – Ontario

The 2021 edition of 12 Days of Golf in support of First Tee – Ontario will run until December 13th.

This online auction, in support of growth of the First Tee’s Ontario chapter in 2022, will see funds helping to expand program locations, coach training, and equipment.  

We believe all kids deserve to be excited to grow, feel safe to fail, and be better equipped for whatever comes at them next. Using golf to teach life lessons and leadership skills, First Tee helps youth develop their swing, but more importantly, their inner strength; self confidence, and resilience to become good golfers and even better people.

Last year’s auction raised over $17,000 and we are hoping to surpass this total for 2021.

The auction features a mix of high-profile special items, one-of-a-kind experiences, and foursome certificates to clubs around Ontario. Click the link below to check out the auction and support this worthy cause.

12 Days of Golf in support of First Tee – Ontario AUCTION

First Tee Media Release

Gragtmans Family Foundation makes $1M USD gift to First Tee – Canada

Inspired to support the life skills and development values ingrained in golf, the Gragtmans Family Foundation has announced a major $1M USD donation to the Golf Canada Foundation to directly power the advancement of First Tee – Canada.

The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation as the Founding Donor and Trustee of First Tee – Ontario will fund and facilitate the provincial chapter launch including program development and delivery with multi-faceted activities designed for schools, community centres, and youth facilities.

First Tee – Canada will provide Canadian youth, and especially those in underrepresented groups, access to affordable and meaningful character education programs through golf. Golf Canada intends on launching chapters in every province in Canada by 2022, with the goal of 100,000 annual participants in the program by 2023.

“The Gragtmans Family Foundation focuses on the positive development and advancement of youth in Canada and abroad,” said Ian Gragtmans, Founder of the Gragtmans Family Foundation. “We are thrilled to be aligned with one of the world’s premiere and proven international youth development organizations. Our mission of providing youth with support to help positively design and advance their lives aligns well with the First Tee values of integrity, respect and perseverance.” A pursuer of growth and knowledge, Mr. Gragtmans credits many who have and continue to act as mentors, and his support of First Tee Canada directly reflects the ongoing responsibility of giving back by helping others.

“The pace of growth behind First Tee – Canada since being announced in Fall 2020 has been incredible, and that’s because of the shared vision of youth champions like the Gragtmans Family Foundation,” said Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue. “The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation towards this provincial chapter-founding, multi-year gift brings incredible momentum to our national youth development program in Canada’s largest market and will surely set the example and encourage deeper expansion across the Canadian philanthropic community.”

Through its deep network of donors and trustees, Golf Canada Foundation is a critical partner in supporting the launch and advancement of First Tee Canada through its fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will also play a role in the advancement of First Tee Canada as chapters form in markets across Canada.

“We are extremely grateful to Ian Gragtmans and the Gragtmans Family Foundation for their incredible generosity as the catalyst to officially launch the first Ontario chapter of First Tee Canada,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO Martin Barnard. “The meaningful support of our donors and corporate champions has far exceeded our early expectations and has provided real momentum in our discussion with others who want to get behind this character building program for youth.”

The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation joins a growing number of chapter-founding and program advancement gifts that have been secured in 2021 with additional investments to be announced in the coming weeks.

Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations. The First Tee network has grown to over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States as well as six international chapters in Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Canada, delivering programs that help young people build character and develop life skills through the game of golf.

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation are continuously pursuing more gifts, which will allow more chapters to launch in Canada. For more information on First Tee – Canada, to get involved, or to donate, visit www.firstteecanada.ca

First Tee Media Release

Humeniuk Foundation & TPC Toronto At Osprey Valley make $1M USD gift to power launch of First Tee – Canada

Humeniuk Family – TPC Toronto

TORONTO – The Humeniuk family and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley are proof that the impact of golf’s champions is measured by more than just trophies.

Inspired to support the life skills and youth development values ingrained in golf, the Humeniuk Foundation and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley have announced a major $1M USD donation to the Golf Canada Foundation to power the advancement of First Tee – Canada. 

The generosity of the Humeniuk family will be a catalyst for Golf Canada to expand the national rollout of First Tee – Canada program development and delivery with multi-faceted activities designed for schools, community centres, and golf facilities. With the gift, the Humeniuk Foundation will become a First Tee International Trustee. 

“We are extremely grateful to the Humeniuk family and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley for this meaningful gift that will enable First Tee – Canada to make an impact on youth development in communities across the country” said Kevin Blue, Chief Sport Officer for Golf Canada. “It is because of these generous donations that First Tee will help to provide transformational life skills and experiences to youth through the game of golf.” 

The Humeniuk Foundation gift to First Tee – Canada coincides with an exciting new era for TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley as the 54-hole facility is set to break ground on construction of two new clubhouses along with on-site accommodations that will transform the property into one of Canada’s premier golf destinations.   

The Humeniuk Foundation and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley have a history of giving back to the game of golf and their community with significant charitable commitments in recent years, from more than $350,000 in 2020 to organizations providing Covid-19 relief efforts to events like The Face-off, an annual charity match that features celebrities and media personalities including TSN’s James Duthie, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and NHL stars Mark Scheifele and Brandon Tanev and has donated $110,000 to charitable causes.

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley has also supported numerous local causes including the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation, Caledon Community Services, Bethell Hospice Foundation and others, while acting as a leading partner in Golf’s Canada’s Covid-19 Golf Relief Fund which supported golf facilities in 2020 through reimbursement for PPE as well as rounds played subsidies for front-line workers and juniors. 

“We have been incredibly fortunate over the past few years to be in a position to give back to some wonderful organizations throughout our community. On behalf of the Humeniuk family and our entire team at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, we are very proud to play a part in the advancement of First Tee – Canada and look forward to a bright future ahead for youth experiences in the game of golf,” said Chris Humeniuk, President, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.

Located in Caledon, Ont., TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley features three of Canada’s Top 100 Courses and is the only Canadian facility to join the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) Network. The facility has hosted a number of premier championships including qualifiers for both the RBC Canadian Open and US Open as well as the Osprey Valley Open on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Earlier this year, the facility launched The Road to TPC presented COBRA PUMA GOLF, a new six-event (36-hole) qualifying series for junior golfers to experience competition across Ontario and culminating with the series finale at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley. 

An accomplished executive and philanthropist that has supported his community through countless charitable endeavors, Chris Humeniuk is also the President of Pro-M Capital Partners Inc., providing strategic leadership and oversight of private equity real estate developments and mortgage lending. 

First Tee – Canada will provide Canadian youth and especially those in underrepresented groups access to affordable and meaningful character education programs through golf. Golf Canada is striving to launch chapters in every province in Canada by 2022, with the goal of 100,000 annual participants. 

Through its deep network of donors and trustees, Golf Canada Foundation is a critical partner in supporting the launch and advancement of First Tee – Canada through its fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will also play a role in the advancement of First Tee – Canada as chapters begin to form in markets across Canada. 

“This is an exciting time for youth golf in Canada and thanks to the Humeniuk Foundation and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, we are advancing the national roll-out of First Tee – Canada programing with pace nationwide,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO Martin Barnard. “The Humeniuk family and TPC Toronto have become exceptional supporters of the game and their community, and we are extremely appreciative of their continued generosity and shared vision to invest in the growth of the game.”

Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations. 

The First Tee network has grown to over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States as well as six international chapters—Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Canada—delivering programs that help young people build character and develop life skills through the game of golf. 

Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation are continuously pursuing more gifts, which will allow more chapters to launch in Canada. For more information on First Tee – Canada, to get involved, or to donate, visit www.firstteecanada.ca

First Tee

Golf Canada partners with First Tee to establish First Tee – Canada

First Tee – Canada

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]OAKVILLE, Ont. – Golf Canada and First Tee announced today a new partnership to launch First Tee –  Canada. First Tee’s Board Chairman, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, shared the news during a global announcement that Presidents Cup will return to Royal Montreal Golf Club in 2024.

First Tee – Canada

Together, the partnership will bring First Tee’s youth development emphasis to strengthen Golf Canada’s junior golf activities – previously conducted under the Future Links brand – that reach kids in schools and at golf facilities. The innovative First Tee curriculum will focus on empowering young people to build their strength of character through the game of golf. Golf Canada will serve as the national headquarters of First Tee – Canada.

“Partnering with First Tee towards the 2021 launch of First Tee – Canada will provide Canadian youth and especially those in underrepresented groups access to affordable and meaningful character education programs through golf,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada have developed a strong foundation for junior golf programming over the past twenty plus years through Future Links. We are excited going forward to partner with the globally recognized First Tee brand and work collaboratively with the Golf Canada Foundation to strengthen our youth development activities.”

First Tee - Canada

“Golf Canada has made a significant impact on the growth of the sport in Canada through their multi-faceted junior golf initiatives and was a natural fit for us to partner with the launch of  First Tee – Canada,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO, First Tee. “Together, we will bring the First Tee youth development program nationwide and build on Golf Canada’s impressive grassroots success with programming that reaches kids via nearly 600 golf facilities and 4,100 participating schools.”

The PGA of Canada will play a leading role in the training of coaches who will serve as mentors to the kids and teens in the program. Coaches will help bring the curriculum to life by introducing youth to fun and active experiences that help them build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that can carry to everything they do.

“We are proud that PGA of Canada professionals will play an important role in utilizing golf to teach First Tee core values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, judgement and courtesy,” said Kevin Thistle, CEO of PGA of Canada. “We look forward to supporting the development of youth and junior golfers through the coaching and mentorship of PGA of Canada professionals in alignment with the National Coaching Certification Program.”

First Tee – Canada

First Tee – Canada will target to launch multiple chapters in 2021 with a growth strategy to establish First Tee chapters in markets across Canada through 2023. The inaugural First Tee – Canada chapter launching in 2021 will be located in Victoria, British Columbia at the Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community which is also home to Golf Canada’s National Training Centre. This was made possible by the support of the Matthews and Kusumoto families. Dan Matthews is a global Trustee and a member of the Board of Governors of the First Tee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Golf Canada Foundation.  A First Tee chapter in Quebec will also be launched shortly thereafter, continuing the incredible legacy of past  Presidents Cups. With support from the Presidents Cup, First Tee has successfully launched global chapters in Australia (2019) and Korea (2015).

Through its deep network of donors and trustees, Golf Canada Foundation will be a critical partner in supporting the launch and advancement of First Tee – Canada through its fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will also play a role in the advancement of First Tee – Canada as chapters begin to form in markets across Canada. In addition, Golf Canada will continue to work with the NGCOA Canada (National Golf Course Owner’s Association) and other key industry stakeholders towards a more inclusive golf experience for Canadian youth.

Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations.

The First Tee network has grown to over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States as well as six international chapters—Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco and Canada—delivering programs that help young people build character and develop life skills through the game of golf. A First Tee chapter out of Vancouver is operating independently out of Vancouver, and previously out of Montreal, prior to the launch of First Tee – Canada.


To learn more about First Tee, visit thefirsttee.org.


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First Tee

Greg McLaughlin named World Golf Foundation CEO & President of The First Tee

Greg McLaughlin
Greg McLaughlin ( Simon Bruty/Any Chance Productions/Getty Images)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida, and PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The World Golf Foundation Board of Directors announced today that Greg McLaughlin will assume the combined roles and responsibilities of World Golf Foundation Chief Executive Officer & President of The First Tee. McLaughlin most recently served as President of PGA TOUR Champions, since January 2015; prior to his role at the TOUR, he was CEO of the Tiger Woods Foundation for 14 years.

McLaughlin will strategically direct the World Golf Foundation, The First Tee and World Golf Hall of Fame, expanding the reach, impact and global prominence of each and ensuring financial performance and sustainability. McLaughlin will serve as a leader among the world’s top golf organizations, and a key ambassador and spokesperson for the game of golf.

“We are thrilled to welcome Greg to this incredibly important new role,” said Jay Monahan, World Golf Foundation Chairman and PGA TOUR Commissioner. “I’m not sure we could have asked for a more qualified, passionate leader, considering his deep level of experience and executive leadership success within the golf world and beyond. Given the scope of this newly consolidated role – to further the World Golf Foundation’s mission and build upon the vision of The First Tee – his proven ability to build relationships at the highest level of the sports, business and not-for-profit communities is unique and will be invaluable. This restructure represents an exciting evolution for the World Golf Foundation, and Greg is the perfect person to take the mantle.”

World Golf Foundation Board Member and LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan added, “Greg will be a perfect fit in this new role. He is an authentic, proven leader who delivers on so many important attributes – he’s experienced, passionate and a visionary. Specifically, I think Greg will instantly connect with The First Tee chapters, donors and participants. With Greg at the helm, and given his ability to build lasting partnerships, this will be an exciting time for The First Tee and the World Golf Foundation.”

“As a member of the greater golf community for more than 30 years, I have always been proud of what the collective efforts of our sport have done and continue to do to inspire communities and change lives, especially for young people who can learn and grow through the values of golf,” said McLaughlin. “This is an exciting time in the evolution of the World Golf Foundation and, specifically, The First Tee, and I am humbled by and excited for the opportunity to lead our industry’s efforts to increase participation and global awareness of golf as a sport that is welcoming to all.”

McLaughlin joined the PGA TOUR in 2014, initially as Senior Vice President of the TOUR’s Championship Management division; he was promoted to PGA TOUR Champions President in 2015 and Executive Vice President of the PGA TOUR in 2018. McLaughlin has been instrumental in the success of PGA TOUR Champions, overseeing a record-setting 20-year marketing partnership with Charles Schwab & Co., the implementation of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs and the addition of several new title sponsors and markets.

Prior to joining the Tiger Woods Foundation in 2000, McLaughlin was the Vice President of Tournaments at the (now-named) Genesis Open, Honda Classic and BMW Championship.

McLaughlin graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Economics. He also received his Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Ten-year World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona will assist McLaughlin with the transition, as Executive Director of WE ARE GOLF and Senior Advisor, before retiring later next year. In addition, 25-year golf industry veteran, Jack Peter, who has made significant contributions including overseeing the design, build out and operation of PGA TOUR Entertainment and most recently, helping to bring the World Golf Hall of Fame to global prominence in his role as President, will retire from his position at the end of the year.

“I’d like to thank Jack for his incredible leadership through the years, specifically his success in raising the profile of the of the World Golf Hall of Fame Museum,” added Monahan.

Brodie Waters, World Golf Hall of Fame Vice President of Business Affairs, will lead the Hall of Fame structure, funding and operations with McLaughlin’s oversight, and will also oversee PR/communications activities for the World Golf Foundation.

Miller Brady, a 19-year veteran of the PGA TOUR, will succeed McLaughlin to lead PGA TOUR Champions. Brady steps into the role after most recently working under McLaughlin as Senior Vice President & Chief of Operations, where his responsibilities have included direct oversight of tournament business affairs, operations, competitions and player relations as well as scheduling. In previous roles at the TOUR, Brady gained valuable experience within the Corporate Marketing department and as Special Assistant to the Commissioner (Tim Finchem) during the development of the FedExCup. Brady began working in the sports industry in 1996 with Advantage International (now Octagon), overseeing BMW’s grassroots golf program and eventually Bank of America’s PGA TOUR Sponsorship of the West Coast Swing. He is from Atlanta and is a graduate of Georgia Southern University.