IDAHO FALLS, Idaho: Congressman Mike Simpson will help introduce The First Tee program to Idaho Falls by playing one hole of golf with junior club participants on Wednesday, July 2 at Sand Creek Golf Course in Idaho Falls. The event is also in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
The First Tee of Idaho is a non-profit organization that provides youth, ages 7-17, with access to affordable educational programs regardless of race, ethnicity or economic circumstances. The program teaches life skills and values that are inherent to the game of golf in a fun, safe environment.
“This new program teaches more than just golf – it teaches valuable life and character building skills. It’s an excellent addition to our junior golf program, and we are excited to be partnering with Congressman Simpson and the program organizers to bring it to our community,” states Greg A. Weitzel, director, Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation.
The event will kick off at 2 p.m. with remarks made by John Graham, PGA head professional at Sand Creek Golf Course; Pete Stickney, executive director, The First Tee of Idaho; Laurel Sayer, executive director, Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts; and Congressman Simpson.
The First Tee was started by LGPA (Ladies’ Professional Golf Association), Masters Tournament, PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) of America, PGA TOUR and USGA (United States Golf Association) with founding corporate partner, Shell Oil in 1997. The First Tee currently has 9 million participants in 200 chapters throughout 50 U.S. states and four international locations.
The First Tee of Idaho started in 2005 at Pierce Park Greens Golf Course in Boise, and has been adopted by Meridian, Nampa, Star, Kuna and now Idaho Falls. The program is funded by private and corporate donations, as well as grants and sponsorships. Grant funding in the amount of $4,700 was provided by LWCF, and supported by Congressman Simpson, for the Idaho Falls program.
The First Tee of Idaho will be offered at Sand Creek Golf Course as a six week program every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., beginning July 9. The cost is $40 per participant, ages 17 and under. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford to pay. Registration is now open by calling (208) 612-8115. Clubs are provided, if needed, and participants will receive golf instruction, a T-shirt, food and beverage. The program will be taught by PGA Professional John Graham and Assistant Professional Kevin Kavran.
In 1972, a $388,308 federal LWCF grant was utilized by the City of Idaho Falls to develop Sand Creek Golf Course. In the 1990’s, population growth in Idaho Falls exerted pressure for new housing in the neighborhood adjacent to the Sand Creek Golf Course. The city traded parcels from the original golf course with the developer to provide a neighborhood park, bicycle path and new housing opportunities. The solution was beneficial to the city and outdoor recreationists while providing new housing opportunities for area residents.
Media note: For additional information about the The First Tee of Idaho, contact Pete Stickney at (208) 938-3411. For information regarding the event at Sand Creek, contact City PIO, Kerry McCullough.
About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/
About LWCF: LWCF operates without relying on taxpayers as it utilizes a portion of the nation’s revenues from outer continental shelf oil and gas leases. The LWCF programs protect natural resource lands, outdoor recreation opportunities and working forests at the local, state and federal levels. Its diverse array of conservation tools allows farmers and ranchers to continue acting as stewards of the lands that sustain their livelihoods. LWCF has protected many of Idaho’s most prized landscapes such as the Sawtooth Valley, South Fork of the Snake River, Boise Foothills, City of Rocks, Henry’s Lake and Hells Canyon.
http://www.golfif.com/sandcreek-golf-course/, http://www.thefirsttee.org/Club/Scripts/Home/home.asp, http://www.thefirstteeidaho.org/club/scripts/public/public.asp, http://www.lwcfcoalition.org/idaho.html