IS THE FIRST TEE PROGRAM READY TO TEE IT UP?
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).