The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

August 1, 2013

First Tee making big impact on young golfers in Oklahoma

Fanning brothers make trip to Hank Haney academy

NORMAN — Brennan Fanning’s first love was baseball. The Moore native began throwing the ball around at the age of four and like many kids, seemed destined to continue playing it throughout his formative years.

However, a strange thing happened on Fanning’s way to a long baseball career. He discovered The First Tee program when he was 9 years old. Since then golf has become more than just a past time for the 17-year old, it’s become a passion.

“I feel like I’m doing way better,” Fanning said. “I feel like I can accomplish more in golf than baseball. I learned a lot being in the First Tee all these years.”

Fanning and his younger brother Bryce, 16, are just two of the millions of teenagers and kids who have taken part in the First Tee Program since it was first introduced more than 15 years ago.

In 1997, the LGPA, Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA formed a partnership with the help of Founding Corporate Partner, Shell Oil, to lead an initiative called The First Tee. This initiative began as a way to bring golf to kids and teens that otherwise would not be exposed to the game and its positive values. Since that time, The First Tee has steadily grown into a youth service organization, impacting, influencing and inspiring more than 7.6 million young people.

“First Tee provides the opportunity for your student to learn essential life skills, meet other children, and be mentored by a positive adult while having fun,” said Debi Martin, executive director for the local First Tee chapter . “We are a program to support the efforts of parents and to expose children to these life skills if they are not already being taught in the home. We want to see each and every child reach their potential.”

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