From article published on Sunday, October 2, 2022 in PasadenaNow:
The month of October has been recognized as First Tee-Greater Pasadena Month by the Pasadena City Council in a proclamation signed by Mayor Victor Gordo on behalf of the city’s Councilmembers.
First Tee-Greater Pasadena is a local organization helping kids and teens learn life lessons — through the game of golf.
“Every year since the inception of our chapter, October has been, traditionally, the month to hold our annual invitational golf tournament,” Robert Baderian, Executive Director of First Tee-Greater Pasadena, said.
“This has also been a month that we have a number of programs that are offered in the community. So having this acknowledgment in October not only continues to add support to our major fundraising event of the year, which is the annual invitational golf tournament, but demonstrates the fantastic partnership that we have and support from the Pasadena City Council, as well as the Rose Bowl Operating Company.”
The proclamation was signed on Sept. 19 and recognized the organization’s 16 years of service. First Tee-Greater Pasadena has been providing a wide range of services, facilities and programs for over 215,000 youth and their families in the last 16 years.
First Tee-Greater Pasadena operates from the Brookside Golf Club, a 36-hole municipal golf facility located close to the world-famous Rose Bowl.
Aside from Brookside Golf Club, which occupies approximately 200 acres of land, the organization also operates programming at other locations, such as the Alhambra Golf Course, Altadena Golf Course, Arroyo Seco Golf Course, Eaton Canyon Golf Course and Marshall Canyon Golf Course.
Its programs are directed towards youth ages 5 to 17, with a specific target for 5th through 8th graders.
Baderian said First Tee-Greater Pasadena is guided by nine core values that First Tee promotes among young golfers: respect, courtesy, responsibility, honesty, sportsmanship, confidence, judgment, perseverance, and integrity.
Aside from golf course-based programming, the organization has also integrated its First Tee School Program into physical education classes in schools across the country and operates a Community Program in partnership with youth centers like the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs.
“First Tee not only promotes and instructs and provides individuals the opportunity to learn a sport – in this case, the game of golf – but it really incorporates having young men and women become very involved in enhancing their life skills through working with each other,” he said.
Over the past 16 years, about 150,000 youths have completed First Tee-Greater Pasadena’s various programs that are adjusted to the individual learner’s age and skill level.
Typically, the programs are offered in sessions that last up to eight weeks, with four sessions every year. Starters can be around five or six years old and begin with the Target program – an Introduction to the First Tee program. After this, the young golfer goes through a PLAYer program, which requires a minimum age of 7, Par at 9 years old minimum, Birdie at 11, Eagle at 13, and Ace, where the minimum age required is 14 or entering 9th grade.
Annual Invitational Golf Tournament
This year, First Tee-Greater Pasadena will hold its Annual Invitational Golf Tournament and Reception, the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, on Nov. 1. Held at Brookside in partnership with the Rose Bowl Operating Company, the event offers various sponsorship opportunities for individuals and organizations desiring to support their programs for young golfers.
It also serves to connect First Tee-Greater Pasadena with other community organizations that help provide life skills programming to Pasadena area youth and their families.
Baderian said the organization works closely with many organizations, such as Optimist Youth Homes, the Leroy Haynes Center for boys and girls, Special Olympics of Southern California, Villa Esperanza, Latina Girls Golf Association, Pasadena NAACP, and the City of Pasadena Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department, where First Tee programs are offered during the summer at various local parks through the department’s daytime after-school programs.
“So again, our goal is, we are continuing to work with these various organizations to provide individuals the opportunity to participate in the First Tee curriculum,” he said.
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the Annual Golf Invitational Tournament, visit www.firstteegreaterpasadena.org/invitational-tournament-2022.