Teenage participants at three chapters of The First Tee will explore several aspects of a career in golf course management and the science of agronomy this summer through a new program sponsored by John Deere.
The experience known as “Careers on Course” is being offered as a part of Deere’s $1 million commitment to the First Tee organization, which was announced in February. The program is expected to expand to other courses in the future.
“The First Tee is an outstanding and proven program for youth development,” said James M. Field, president of John Deere’s Worldwide Agriculture and Turf Division. “The Careers on Course program builds on the leadership development activities already taking place in The First Tee while providing participants with the opportunity to better understand the business of golf course maintenance.”
Deere announced in February that it would contribute $1 million over five years to The First Tee, a non-profit youth organization that uses golf as a platform to teach life and leadership skills and provide character education programs for young people.
Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee, said, “There are many important outcomes for young people involved in The First Tee. Participants have more confidence in academic work and social settings. We believe Careers on Course will help keep young people engaged and inspire interest in the scientific, technological, and business aspects of a golf course management career.”
Deere is a major manufacturer of equipment for golf course maintenance and turf care and a title sponsor of a PGA TOUR event. The company has stated that The First Tee contribution emphasizes John Deere’s commitment to the game of golf and the career development of professionals in the golf course maintenance industry.
Participants in the Careers on Course program learn from professionals who work at PGA TOUR golf courses partnering with The First Tee. Students will learn the work required to present a well-manicured, environmentally safe and playable course. In addition, participants will also receive an introduction to club operations. The program curriculum was developed in conjunction with the PGA TOUR.
Locations in 2013 for the Careers on Course program include the TPC Boston in June; TPC Sugarloaf near Atlanta in July; and Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Chicago, in August. Chapters of The First Tee in those markets will participate at each event.
Two participants from each chapter involved in the initial events will have the opportunity to shadow a superintendent as he or she prepares their golf course for an official PGA TOUR event, including the Deutsche Bank Championship in August; the BMW Championship in September; and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in September.
In 2014, select participants will be invited to the Deere & Company World Headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and TPC Deere Run in nearby Silvis, Illinois, to learn about business operations and other career opportunities.