• Ben Tierney

Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational Brings The First Tee to Region

The First Tee School and Summer Programs to Launch in Great Lakes Bay Region

The First Tee

MIDLAND, Mich. (Feb. 1, 2019)  – The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, an inaugural LPGA official team event taking place July 15-20 at Midland Country Club, announced today a partnership with The First Tee of Eastern Michigan. Through a combination of in-school, after-school and summer programming, over 5,500 kids throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region will be introduced to The First Tee’s unique golf and life skills curriculum.

“The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational strives to create an event that will enrich the entire region in numerous ways over the next five years,” said Chris Chandler, executive director of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.  “Partnering with The First Tee of Eastern Michigan by promoting life and leadership skills to youth through the game of golf is an incredible opportunity for our youth to experience firsthand the many benefits and values of this lifelong sport.”

The First Tee is a youth development organization whose mission is 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. The First Tee focuses on nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment.

The First Tee National School Program

As part of the initiative to introduce The First Tee into the region, The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will work with Midland Public Schools to integrate The First Tee core values as well as golf motor skill development, character education and wellness to create The First Tee National School Program. The program focuses on the following core objectives:

  • Create a safe introduction to golf for today’s students and teachers.

  • Ensure that golf education meets the same national standards developed by the Society for Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE).

  • Assist students to build character and confidence through the positive personal and social values associated with the game of golf.

  • Engage students in daily lesson activities that lead to development of basic golf motor skills.

  • Demonstrate to students that golf can be a great lifelong recreation and health-enhancing activity.

  • Ensure the positive values of golf are part of the classroom and students’ everyday lives.

Beginning on Monday, Feb. 4, Midland Public Schools will pilot The First Tee National School Program at Adams Elementary School, Central Park Elementary School, Chestnut Hill Elementary School, Plymouth Elementary School, Siebert Elementary School and Woodcrest Elementary School. The program will introduce Short Golf equipment to engage over 3,500 students in physical education classes. During the next five years, the intention is to engage elementary schools throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“This is a great time to be a golf fan in Midland – all of our elementary physical education teachers will be working with students this spring using the Short Golf teaching equipment, The First Tee program starts at Currie Golf Courses in June, and the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational tournament takes place in July,” said Michael Sharrow, superintendent of Midland Public Schools. “We’re thankful to the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational for their support of all of these programs, and we’re looking forward to bringing the game of golf to our youngest students.”

In addition to The First Tee National School Program, after-school and summer camp golf programs will also be integrated within the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The First Tee Drive Program

The First Tee Drive Program will focus on kids attending regional youth centers during the summer, teaching them the same values as the National School Program, and will engage over 2,000 kids in the following locations: Bay City YMCA, Saginaw YMCA, Boy and Girls Club of the Great Lakes Bay Region, and Midland Community Center.

The First Tee Summer Program

The First Tee Summer Program will kick off in June at Currie Golf Courses. Once a week, The First Tee staff will conduct lessons teaching both on and off course skills. Currie Golf Courses and The First Tee of Eastern Michigan will announce further details related to the program later this spring.

The First Tee Junior Clinic

On Monday, July 15, the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will host two, half-day junior clinics based on The First Tee Program at Currie Golf Courses. During each free clinic, kids will move through multiple stations including a short game area, putt-putt, physical fitness, and more.

For more information about the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, visit www.DowGLBI.com and join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/DowGLBI, www.twitter.com/DowGLBI, and www.instagram.com/dowglbi (@DowGLBI).


About Dow

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow has one of the strongest and broadest toolkits in the industry, with robust technology, asset integration, scale and competitive capabilities that enable it to address complex global issues. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care. Dow is a subsidiary of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), a holding company comprised of Dow and DuPont with the intent to form three strong, independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty sectors. More information can be found at www.dow.com.

About Midland Country Club

Midland Country Club has maintained a standard of excellence through its heritage since its founding in 1928. The Club was established to provide golf and other recreational and social activities for its members—which continues today! Located in the center of Midland, Michigan, the Club provides beautiful scenery, superb facilities and top quality service. Midland Country Club is thankful for each of its more than 750 members and the community for continuing to support the Club and is excited to host The Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational! Learn more about Midland Country Club by visiting www.midlandcc.net.

About the LPGA

The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 countries. With a vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while the Symetra Tour, the official development and qualifying tour of the LPGA, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.

The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation. Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental, humanitarian and golf community initiatives, including LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA Women’s Network and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association.

Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via www.LPGA.com. Join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/lpga, www.twitter.com/lpga and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo, and on Instagram at @lpga_tour.

About The First Tee

The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is 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. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools, at other youth-serving locations and on military installations.

The First Tee of Eastern Michigan is a licensed chapter of The First Tee operated by The IMA Recreation Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our service area includes Genesee, Lapeer, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties.

About Currie Golf Courses

Located along the banks of the Tittabawassee River, the complex features a 6,493-yard, par 72, 18-hole course (Currie West), nine-hole layout (Currie East) and par 3 course (practice facility); Currie has something for players of all abilities. Designed by Michigan golf course architect Jerry Matthews, Currie West features five tee boxes to suit new and experienced players. Currie East – the original 18-hole layout – was designed and constructed by namesake Gilbert Currie and was shortened to nine holes in 2015 to accommodate the new driving range. The practice facility also features the par 3 course, putting green and short-game area. The clubhouse houses a fully-stocked golf shop and Gil’s Grill with adjacent pavilion. Other highlights include The Currie Golf Academy, junior golf programming and FootGolf, Currie’s newest offering. For more information: www.curriegolf.com, 989.839.9600

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