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Program teaches golf, life lessons to young people

Sports teach life lessons, that’s why we play them.

It’s a cliché, but it is true. And in Salisbury a new program will start in 2015 that helps children develop character through the game of golf.

The First Tee program is set to start next spring at the Salisbury Country Club. The international program started in 1997 and has helped millions of young people develop everyday life skills by learning the game of golf.

A small group of people, lead by Patsy Rendleman, a lifelong golfer, came together to get the program started in Salisbury. An event was held Tuesday at the country club to inform people about the program and ask for volunteers and donations.

The Salisbury First Tee is partnering with The First Tee of the Triad, which started in 2007 and has grown rapidly.

Greg Alcorn, who is helping to get the Salisbury program going, said The First Tee program is great for community outreach.

Plans calls for about 20 children to start in the Salisbury program in March. The age range is 7 to 18. Spring and fall sessions are held, normally with lessons held weekly. Equipment is provided at no cost to the children. There is a one-time fee of $75 per session, and scholarships are available.

Alcorn stressed a big need for the program is volunteers. And they don’t have to be good at golf, just good at encouraging young people, he said.

The First Tee teaches children nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.

Rendleman said she thinks golf is a perfect way for children to develop character. She said starting the program in Salisbury has been a dream of hers.

To learn more and find out how to get involved or donate, visit www.thefirstteetriad.org.

Conact reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.

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