Life lessons taught through game of golf

Published 11:18 am Saturday, January 28, 2012

FRANKLIN—A national organization tasked with teaching children life lessons through the game of golf has come to Western Tidewater.

Southampton High School junior golfer Billy Britton tees off at the 10th hole at Cypress Cove Country Club on Friday. The First Tee program will partner with the country club to share life’s lessons through the game of golf with children ages 5 through 17. -- Dale Liesch | Tidewater News

The First Tee Franklin Affiliate Program developed as a partnership between the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, The First Tee of Hampton Roads, Franklin-Southampton Charities and Cypress Cove Country Club to work with youth ages 5-17. Keeping one’s own score and playing by the rules are some of lessons taught, said Nancy Moore, director of development and marketing for First Tee of Hampton Roads.

“Life lessons are taught in combination with golf skills,” Moore said.

Discussions about bringing the program to Franklin began about two years ago, said Brian Hedgepeth, chief executive officer of Bronco Federal Credit Union and member of the corporate board of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads.

Attorney and former Franklin Mayor Elliott Cobb initiated the discussion because his grandchildren participated in the program in Charlottesville.

Franklin-Southampton Charities is funding the first year, which begins in March.

“We’re excited about the opportunity for them to come in,” Hedgepeth said. “We feel it can get even bigger.”

Cypress Cove golf pro Danny Morgan will lead the session that begins March 25 and runs through May 8. The six-week program includes weekly 90-minute classes on either Tuesdays after school or Sundays.

Sessions will continue in May-June, July-August and September-October. In addition, the program will sponsor a summer camp at the country club from July 30 to Aug. 3.

The cost for the program is $20 or $10 for YMCA members.

Those interested in signing up can go to the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA or Space is limited.

“We know the program has a positive impact on children,” said Bill Zazynski, executive director of The First Tee of Hampton Roads and district vice president for the YMCA. “It’s a win-win for all.”