The program, which provides hands-on experience and leadership skills for teenage participants to help them prepare for a career in golf course management, includes “shadowing” opportunities with superintendents around PGA Tour events.
Teenage participants in four chapters of The First Tee® for the Greater Dallas, Des Moines, The Triangle (N.C.) and San Diego areas will explore several aspects of a career in golf course management and science in 2015 through the Careers on Course program, John Deere Golf and The First Tee have announced.
The experience is offered as part of John Deere’s five-year $1 million commitment to The First Tee, a non-profit youth organization which uses golf as a platform to teach life and leadership skills that provide character education programs for youth.
Careers on Course participants learn from industry professionals who work at PGA TOUR tournament golf courses. Students learn about the work required to present a well-manicured, environmentally safe and playable course. In addition, participants receive an introduction to club operations, through a curriculum that was developed in conjunction with the PGA TOUR.
Two participants from each chapter involved will also have an opportunity to shadow a superintendent as he or she prepares their golf course for an official PGA TOUR event.
In 2014, three Careers on Course Programs took place; four have been scheduled for these clubs in 2015:
• TPC Craig Ranch (McKinney, Texas), where participants from The First Tee of Greater Dallas shadowed superintendents on April 18, in conjunction with the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.
• Wakonda Club (Des Moines, Iowa), where participants from The First Tee of Greater Des Moines, will have a Shadowing Day on May 2 in conjunction with the Principal Charity Classic.
• Prestonwood Country Club (Cary, N.C.), where participants from The First Tee of the Triangle will have a Shadowing Day on September 19 in conjunction with the SAS Championship.
• Torrey Pines Golf Course (San Diego, Calif.), where participants from The First Tee of San Diego will have a Shadowing Day on October 10 in conjunction with the Farmers Insurance Open.
“At John Deere Golf, we recognize there’s more needed to ensure the golf industry is positioned for growth beyond great equipment,” said Dave Plaster, North American Sales Manager, John Deere Golf. “That’s why it’s an honor to work with The First Tee towards the collective success of the future industry.
“Careers on Course participants come away with a better understanding of the career opportunities in the golf industry, and we hope to educate and inspire them as they plan for the future,” Plaster added.
“Careers on Course continues to present a terrific career exploration opportunity for our participants,” said Kelly Martin, Chief Operating Officer of The First Tee. “We are thankful for John Deere’s commitment to The First Tee and for their desire to expand the thinking and education of participants at our chapters.”
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