The funds will help purchase clubs for the children and eliminate other financial barriers that often prevent children from participating in golf.
BOISE, Idaho — A group of 16 players set out at Pierce Park Greens to raise money for First Tee Idaho.
The group played 100 holes each – from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – earning program money for each hole completed. Each golfer recruited sponsors and donors on an individual basis.
In total, the 16-man crew raised over $56,000. They called the event “100 Hole Hike”.
First Tee will use the funds to purchase golf clubs for children and remove other barriers to entry into the sport, according to First Tee Idaho board member Craig Naylor.
The program teaches children the game of golf through 9 core values. These same values translate into life off the course.
“First of all, we want them to be a golfer for life, whatever level they want to reach. But most importantly, our goal is to make them successful in whatever they want to do through to the values and skills that we provided to them on the first tee,” Naylor said.
As the peloton of competitors at Pierce Park proves, these values are timeless.
At first glance, one might assume that 14-year-old Reid Hoppock has nothing in common with playmates twice – or even three times – his age.
“I just met them today,” Reid said.
But the golfer is in good company. Today, Reid stands alongside former Oregon Duck golfer JJ Astorquia and former Canadian Tour winner Joe Panzeri.
“Reid reminds me a lot of JJ and myself when we were younger. He loves golf. Obviously he has a lot of talent and attitude. I like that he has great confidence. He has a nice future,” Panzeri said. .
Panzeri’s comments are not limited to the limits of the course. Because he and Astorquia know firsthand the general value of golf course education.
“There are very few people who live off of it. That’s for sure,” Astorquia said. “You have good holes and bad holes there. You just have to keep going. There’s another hole ahead and another shot ahead. It’s a life lesson.”
With 100 holes on the scorecard – or scorecards in this case – Reid has more shots ahead of him than he cares to count. It’s because Reid read the play.
In this group, the goal is to play well. But the dashboard is not the part that matters.
“Integrity, responsibility and respect. All of that has been very important to me. In school, in golf and in life,” Reid said.
According to Naylor, First Tee Idaho serves children ages 7 to 18 throughout Idaho. Anyone interested in getting involved or registering their child can register here.
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