After participating in a 5-week local Leadership Series at the PGA Superstore in Palm Beach Gardens in the spring, Nathan was encouraged to apply for the First Tee Leadership Summit to represent the First Tee of The Palm Beaches. The event builds on the series and is designed for teens to explore leadership concepts including (1) building authentic relationships by developing awareness, (2) growing through challenge via positive risk taking, and (3) developing positive self-identity through dynamic outdoor and teambuilding activities.
He was selected and spent an incredible week at the West Creek Ranch in Montana where he participated in activity-based workshops facilitated by leaders from PGA TOUR Superstore headquarters, West Creek Ranch, and First Tee headquarters.
It truly was the best week of my life. I met wonderful people, experienced amazing adventures, discussed values and learned leadership skills that I will use in all aspects of my life.
The experience that most impacted me or stood out to me was the 9-hole golf outing, as I was able to establish connections with both my peers and true-born leaders such as Ralph Stokes of the PGA Tour Superstore. His story about being the first black player for the Alabama football team was truly inspiring! -Nathan Vertes
Thank you Coach Glen for helping Nate reach for the stars!!! He is truly having the best week of his life!!!!! Making friends, team building, learning, valuable leadership skills and making memories that will last a lifetime!!!!! -Amy Vertes
Healthy Habit: Family
If you did a search on the internet about the importance of family, you would probably find a ton of studies with a lot of feel good terms but when you are kid you are probably not thinking about building a foundation for future relationships and success. Instead, some kids are forming opinions about family based on their experiences. If they get their way, they love their parents but if they don't-their parents are the worst. Sibling relationships can also vary moment to moment- love and hate them. The hope is that with maturity their viewpoints will adjust.
When you are a student athlete and your parents are driving you all over for lessons and competitions, it is easy to take your parents for granted. If their other siblings are not athletes this can also create tension in the family. It is not easy to balance the priorities but it can be done. Check out the articles below:
Mike started out as one of my private golf students and today I am honored to call him friend. He is a good player but like most he allows the bad shot to take over too much mental space which leads to more poor shots. What impresses me about Mike is his desire to keep practicing and playing even as he deals with debilitating pain which is probably why we get a long so well.
When he asked about being a volunteer, I was not surprised. People see that I have a lot of kids and they always ask but Mike was the first to follow through by completing all of the necessary background checks and training that First Tee requires. He really enjoys watching the kids and is their biggest cheerleader. When I was informed that he was awarded Volunteer of the Year for 2022 and that they wanted him to attend a special event, I laughed. There was no way that Mike was going to a special event, if he was getting an award it would need to be in front of his players.
It took two tries to present it since his back was not cooperating but we did it. He was completely unaware of what was happening at the time. Congratulations Mike!!!
Q: How does it feel to receive this award?
A: It is an honor to receive an award for GIVING.
Q: How did you get started playing golf?
A: Curiosity, my friend started to play and I went along with him.
Q: What prompted you to start volunteering?
A: I had been taking lessons with Glen for several weeks and he mentioned that he also taught kids as part of the First Tee program, so I asked if he needed any help.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
A: Giving back is the greatest lesson, no matter how or when I have found it to be the greatest reward that I have experienced in my life.
Q: When you are not playing golf what do you like to do?
A: Watch and play sports, spend time with family.
Q: Who is your favorite golfer and why?
A: Bernard Langer, his dedication to be the best.
Q: Most people who are experiencing the kind of pain that you are, would just stop volunteering until they are well. Why is it important for you to keep your commitment no matter what?
A: I was taught by my father a long time ago, if you make a commitment you keep it no matter what. As the classes went on I observed that this was much more than teaching golf, Glen had a group of people who cared about teaching respect, family, and integrity etc. (Glen, Danni, Mayda, Mateo, Zack, Stan, Reva) It has truly been a privilege to be involved with Glen and his crew, it is not often you get to spend time with such good people.
If your junior is interested in golf, the first step is lessons but the real enjoyment for the game happens when they get on course to play and apply what they are learning.
First tee and Youth on Course have forged a great partnership where your junior can play at select golf courses for $5. Each course has their own restrictions so additional fees could apply. Click here to join Youth on Course and take advantage of this great opportunity.
Application with the right understanding makes a difference.
The TimberTech Championship is a golf tournament on the PGA Tour Champions which features PGA Players age 50+. This year First Tee invited some of our junior golfers to participate in a "behind the scenes tour" at the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton. Theo Consonni, Luke Sterijevski, Marina Sterijevski and Vivian Sterijevski were happy to accept the invitation.
The golfers were treated to a backyard lunch followed by a guided tour which included a visit to ShotLink to view how scoring is recorded in a professional tournament. They also learned about the intricate details and planning that goes into setting up the course for the week long event. Afterwards, they watched the pros do what they do best. Bernhard Langer took home the trophy this year.
Thank you so much again for the opportunity! Theo had a great time. Learning the behind the scenes, being able to get into the PGA tours mobile truck and learn about all the technology behind it. Also being able to get so close to some PGA players and watch their wonderful skills. Everything was very well organized and for sure an amazing and unforgettable experience. - Andrea C.
We had a lovely day at the TimberTech Championship. The behind the scenes tour was great. Marina said "it was really interesting to see how and where they do the scoring. " Vivian liked watching the professionals, but also like going behind the scenes as well. Luke said he especially liked watching the professionals drive because the ball goes so far! -Sascha S.