The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia Welcomes Michael Brown as New Board President

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The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia Welcomes Michael Brown as New Board President


“Always remember where you came from.  Walnut Lane Golf Club and The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia is where I came from”.  Michael Brown has been named the new Board President of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia in 2018.  Michael will be taking over for long time President, Jay Sigel. Jay has been integral to the growth and success of The First Tee of Greater  Philadelphia since its inception. Jay is a legendary amateur golfer. In 1983, he became the only golfer ever to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur in the same year, which made him only the third golfer to win two USGA individual titles in the same year. He also had a successful career on the PGA Champions Tour. Jay has served as the President of the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia for 37 years.  

According to William Hyndman, V, Executive Director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, “Jay’s leadership has helped our chapter grow to where it is today, positively impacting the lives of more than 15,000 young people in our eight county footprint.  Michael Brown is a dynamic successor whose commitment and dedication to our students and golf will further our mission of providing even more kids with The First Tee curriculum to create good golfers but even better people”.   The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s eight county footprint includes Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, Camden, Gloucester and Burlington counties.

Michael Brown, “Brownie” grew up in a row home on Magdalena Street across from the first green at Walnut Lane Golf Club which is now the headquarters of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. He started playing golf at Walnut Lane at the age of 12 and he was involved in, the Greater Philadelphia Scholastic Golf Association Classic, the early incarnation of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. The golfers at Walnut Lane treated him so well that they even chipped in money so he could play in the U.S. Amateur Public Links championships. Greater Philadelphia Scholastic Golf Association, founded by Jack Gross, Greg Gaul and Walter Smith in 1978 was the predecessor organization prior to integrating with The First Tee in 2004.  It was founded upon the tenet of providing equal access to golf for all young people. Michael played in and placed in the first GPSGA Championship in 1979. “I can tell you that golf has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. The people I have met along the way have been tremendous and golf has opened doors that I never would have opened if I did not play golf”, says Michael Brown. “Brownie” does not forget his roots.  He wants to give back to kids to pass on the kindness shown to him as a kid.

Michael Brown echoes departing President, Jay Sigel’s sentiment that golf has to have a social conscience and we all need to give back.  Giving back is the opportunity that excites Michael the most about being the new President, Board of Trustee. “I am going to do everything I can.  I will give back at every chance I get.  ” Michael Brown is Group President of InnerWorkings which acquired Brown + Partners in 2007.  Mike and his wife, Beth founded Brown + Partners in 1999.

About The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia

The mission of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia is to positively impact the lives of young people by providing standardized curriculum and educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

The First Tee Changes Lives.

Young people in our country today are facing critical challenges.  Among these challenges include the fact that eleven million young people do not have a safe place to be after the school bell rings, one in three will reach adulthood not ever having a positive mentor, one in six children are food insecure, one in five students are leaving our schools each year and do not graduate.  The First Tee is addressing these challenges intentionally through character education in its programs, seamlessly integrated with a golf curriculum.  We believe that all young people should have access to safe places and caring adult mentors who provide an experience that helps them to grow socially, emotionally and academically.

The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia introduces young people to The First Tee Nine Core Values, Nine Healthy Habits and Life Skills  inherent in the game of life and golf, preparing them for success both on and off the course.   In 2017 alone, through providing equal access to golf, we positively impacted the lives of more than 15,000 kids. In 2018, our goal is to reach 20,000 young people in our eight county footprint.

The First Tee has developed programs built on the positive youth development framework.  Our programs provide safe places, intentional and trained caring adults, and developmentally appropriate and empowering curricula.  At elementary schools, youth centers and golf facilities, students participate in a seamless golf and character education program, promoting physical activity, introducing them to a lifelong sport while embedding core values and wellness in every lesson.

Nine Core Values: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgment.

Life Skills: Interpersonal, Goal Setting, Resilience and Self Management

Nine Healthy Habits: Energy, Play, Safety, Vision, Mind, Family, Friends, School and community make a difference with our kids.

An investment in The First Tee is an investment in Good Students, Good Citizens and eventually, Good Employees.

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