Jack Nicklaus announces scholarship to help next generation of golfers

The Memorial

The Memorial Tournament is not all about golf. A lot of money raised through the event goes to charity programs like The First Tee.

Tuesday it was announced that Jack Nicklaus is a part of a scholarship fund for the program. The scholarships are going to help thousands of kids right here in central Ohio.

The First Tee program helps 16,000 kids enjoy the game of golf. It’s a game that also helps teach them life lessons. Kids and parents by the greens at the tournament say the game of golf has changed their lives for the better.

Conner Williams is 10 and has been golfing for three years.

“I golf because I think that it’s a calm sport. It teaches me how to deal with frustration. When you hit a bad shot and it also teaches me that no matter what you need to keep a good attitude and be a good sport,” said Williams.

That’s exactly how the Director of operations for the First Tee of Central Ohio feels about golf. Golf teaches life skills which is why it’s important to keep the First Tee Program going.

“Skills like integrity, sportsmanship… One of the first things we teach kids when they come out to our camp and our programs is how to introduce themselves to someone. How to look someone in the eye. Golf is the perfect sport the perfect classroom for that because in the game of golf there’s no referee there’s no umpire you’re keeping track of your own score you’re calling penalties on yourself. Relationships are built, confidence and trust,” said Cheri Jenkins

With the support of Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara, the First Tee program announced the scholarship program that will allow kids who might not have the financial means to attend the summer camps or programs. They can do it regardless of their financial ability to pay. 

“I would think I want to be part of a legacy that help kids that’s what Barbara and I have tried to do everywhere,” said Jack Nicklaus.

The First Tee program covers for counties in central Ohio. More than 18,000 kids will now be able to be a part of the program because of the scholarship fund.

Many kids at the memorial tournament tell Elyse they love golf and meeting the players up close.

Melanie Kersten, a 10-year-old golfer said, “I started because I wanted to learn how to stay focused and it was a calm and fun sport. I like meeting the players and getting their autographs.”

Williams, “I do look up to them and I look up to them because they’re a good role model you know you can watch them out here and you know who that’s who you want to be one day.”

Wednesday is kids day at the Memorial Tournament. To learn more about The First Tee program visit, tap here.

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