Spearheaded by the yearlong efforts of Don DeLorenzo, general manager of Gilroy Golf Course and Gavilan Golf Course, and Gilroyan Scot Hathaway, who is the general manager of Los Lagos Golf Course, The First Tee of Silicon Valley (formally First Tee of San Jose) has welcomed Gavilan Golf Course as the newest location for the life skills program, joining San Jose’s Rancho Del Pueblo – the chapter’s home base – and Palo Alto Golf Course.
“Gilroy was definitely an area that we have been looking at for a few years now, always knowing that South County would be in the picture,” said executive director of Silicon Valley chapter George Maxe. “It’s just a perfect fit. A nine-hole like Gavilan is perfect for youth programming. It’s a classic beginner course.”
Created nationally in 1997, The First Tee has 750 locations in the United States, six international sites and serves 4.7 million youth with the mission 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.”
Boys and girls in second and third grade are eligible to sign up for the first session, which begins March 16 at Gavilan Golf Course. There is a limit of 24 participants. Equipment is provided, though students are asked to golf attire and no denim if possible.
The program is designed around learning Nine Core Values – honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. Ideally, students stay involved until they graduate high school – as they too graduate through the program itself.
“This is just a great place for kids to be,” DeLorenzo said. “There is a seamless approach between golf and the curriculum. So that’s what really sets The First Tee apart. We are teaching the young kids how to swing a golf club and these Nine Core Values at the same time.”
To sign up your child or to volunteer as a “coach” visit thefirstteesanjose.org.