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IS THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM READY TO TEE IT UP?
Published June 10, 1998
The progress of The First Tee (TFT) golf initiative introduced in November aimed at opening golf to inner-city youths, "has been sparse," according to GOLF WORLD. But TFT Exec Dir Tod Leiweke says, "People would much rather hear about our first groundbreaking, but we've been working for the last several months to staff up and get our internal house in order." The staff now has 13 members. Leiweke added, "We're very close to finishing a national fund- development campaign that will allow us, in short order, to grant funds as a standard part of our facility package." The report estimates grants to "be as high as $100,000 per facility." TFT is in talks with equipment companies for equipment for "the predominantly poor, minority children the program hopes to attract." The Arnold Palmer Golf Company has donated 15,000 clubs and 3,000 bags. A teaching program has also been developed by TFT in conjunction with the PGA of America and LPGA. The first project is targeted for Little Rock, AR, and other announcements are expected in Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Antonio, Tucson and Hershey, PA. No dates have been set for facility openings, but sources "close to" TFT told GOLF WORLD that the goal of identifying 100 sites "could be reached as early as the end of this year" (GOLF WORLD, 6/5 issue). TIGER'S BEAT: Tiger Jam I at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheater, a fundraising benefit for the Tiger Woods Foundation, raised more than $500,000 to "assist at-risk youth through study and golf programs." The event featured performances by the Eagles, Hootie & the Blowfish and Babyface (DAILY VARIETY, 6/10). One anonymous bidder paid $95,000 to play 18 holes with Woods (USA TODAY, 6/10).