The Grand Valley State women’s golf team and Calvin College men’s golf team recently took part in an event to help out local youth, hosted by The First Tee of West Michigan at Kent Country Club.

16 participants of The First Tee paired up with GVSU women and Calvin men’s golfers in a nine hole alternate shot event on Friday, October 21. Afterwards, participants and the college golfers ate dinner together and discussed the year.

Courtesy of The First Tee West Michigan

“This our sixth year doing this event, and the students say it’s their favorite event of the whole year. It’s a great opportunity for our participants to rub shoulders with young role models and learn what the game of golf has done for them,” said Tyler Smies, Executive Director of The First Tee of West Michigan.

“We worked with nearly 700 students at The First Tee program this year, but it really comes down to each individual participant, and how they are growing as a person. This event gives some of our young people a confidence boost, and gets them thinking about what they want to be when they grow up,” Smies said.

Participants took part in The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience this golf season at six area courses in West Michigan. Sessions are held in Grand Rapids at The Highlands Golf Course, Stormy Creek Golf Course, Maple Hill Golf Course, Cascade Hills Country Club, and Kent Country Club. The First Tee also hosted classes in Muskegon, at University Park Golf Course.

The chapter serves youth age 7-17 from all socioeconomic backgrounds teaching them life skills, values and healthy habits through the game of golf. This year, The First Tee of West Michigan partnered to provide programs to students from Kentwood Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Wyoming Public Schools, Wedgwood Christian Services, Arbor Circle and many others.

The First Tee students wrapped up outside classes last week, but their clubs are not put away for long. Starting in mid-November, The First Tee runs their winter program, named “Homework & Hitting,” out of five area locations in Greater Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

The program will also be partnering with the City of Grand Rapids at Indian Trails in 2017, as well as expanding to provide programs in the Holland area.

For more information on The First Tee of West Michigan, contact 616-965-6633 or visit their website.