Industry News

First Tee empowers 24 teenage girls through week-long academy made possible by John Deere

The national event, “Drive Your Future,” held in San Francisco, June 6-10, reinforces the organization’s commitment to empowering girls

San Francisco - (June 1) – Twenty-four girls, ages 15-18, from First Tee chapters across the country are attending the John Deere Drive Your Future Academy in San Francisco, June 6-10. The all-girls professional development academy is hosted by First Tee and John Deere and focuses on empowering the girls to leverage opportunities available through their participation in golf and First Tee, and recognize the importance of building a strong network. 

Throughout the week-long academy the girls will participate in interactive workshops and hear from keynote speakers, including retired Rear Admiral and First Tee Board Member, Marty Evans, on a variety of topics designed to inspire and help them as they plan for the future.  In addition, they’ll play golf at the Olympic Club Ocean Course where they will build upon their connections with other participants from around the country and hear different perspectives from their peers. The participants will stay in dorms and experience a college campus at San Francisco State University.

The event reinforces First Tee’s commitment to empowering girls through its programs, which are offered through 150 chapters in 1400 golf course locations. More than 80% of chapters offer dedicated programming for girls, intentionally inviting and engaging them in a variety of opportunities. Girls who stay in First Tee programs have the opportunity to apply for all national events, including Drive Your Future.

“At John Deere, we run so life can leap forward,” said John Watson, John Deere, First Tee Manager. “That includes partnering with organizations like First Tee to provide life-changing opportunities for today’s youth. It is an honor to celebrate our 5th anniversary of the Drive Your Future academy and we are thrilled to help develop the leaders of tomorrow.” 

The teens were selected for the Drive Your Future Academy through a national application process based on essays, letters of recommendation, and involvement in First Tee and other activities. 

John Deere is a Trustee of First Tee and has supported the organization since 2012.

First Tee is a youth development organization celebrating 25 years of teaching life skills and helping kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The John Deere Drive Your Future Academy is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.  

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About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”) 
First Tee ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. In 2022, First Tee celebrates its 25th anniversary and reaching millions of youth through its network of 150 chapters, 10,000 schools and 1,700 youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair. 

Aaliyah Jones, First Tee  
(904) 490-7899 ext 7899