Posted: 2/26/2013

Vince Gill, Annika Sorenstam Among Attendees at The First Tee Network Meeting

Meeting to spotlight positive impact on youth through golf

Nashville, Tenn., (February 27, 2013) - The First Tee, a youth development organization that provides character education through golf, is hosting the 2013 Network Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 28 through March 2. The biennial educational gathering will bring together a record-setting 700-plus leaders from The First Tee’s 187 chapters with a focus on ways to enhance and maximize the organization’s ability to positively impact young people.

The attendees will participate in educational classes, share best practices and hear from distinguished speakers including Tim King, founder, president and CEO of Chicago’s Urban Prep Academies; Dr. Shari Barkin, head of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University; and a panel discussion on philanthropy with representatives from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Southern Company, USGA and a longtime individual donor. World Golf Hall of Fame member and spokesperson for The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, Annika Sorenstam, will participate as well. 

The meeting will conclude on Saturday, March 2 with a Gala Dinner featuring Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member, Vince Gill, serving as host and entertainer.

“This meeting promises to be both educational and inspiring,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “The stage is set for continued growth and impact in communities reached by The First Tee. We know our chapters are ready to expand their efforts as our network strives to reach an additional 10 million young people by 2017. I look forward to the energy and stimulus the Network Meeting will provide.”

Held in conjunction with the meeting is The First Tee’s first-ever Outstanding Participant Summit.  Thirty-two teens selected from a national pool of The First Tee chapters have been selected to attend the interactive and educational event in which they will have the opportunity to develop and hone skills to become leaders in their chapters, schools and communities.

Sessions during the Summit will cover a variety of topics including college preparedness, the importance of community service and volunteerism, and environmental sustainability. Of the 32 participants in attendance, eight have been named semifinalists for The First Tee Outstanding Participant Award and will receive $40,000 in scholarships from Founding Corporate Partner Shell Oil Company.

For more information about The First Tee, visit

About The First Tee
The First Tee (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools, at other youth-serving locations and on military installations.   

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 7.6 million young people in all 50 United States and four international locations. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Shell Oil Company is The First Tee’s Founding Corporate Partner and Johnson & Johnson is its Legacy Partner. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.

Media Contact:
Sara Henika
(904) 881-7398