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Grant gives boost to The First Tee

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Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:00 pm

The First Tee of Killeen is getting some professional help.

With a grant from the United States Golf Association, The First Tee is now offering its players lessons from Stonetree Golf Club PGA pro Greg Antunes.

"It means a whole lot to the kids because they are getting professional expertise on swinging the club properly, lining up your shot and building up confidence," The First Tee executive director Henry Hurst said.

The grant, which The First Tee must match, supports the program in four different categories. The grant provides payment for PGA Professional instruction, payment for additional golf instruction by a First Tee coach, payment for golf course usage at a discounted fee and payment for usage of golf balls for the driving range at reduced rates.

Antunes said he just hopes to add to what Hurst, Joel Darrow (Director of Golf for First Tee) and senior instructor Abe West have already taught the kids.

"It's a great opportunity to me and I hope I can help do something with the First Tee," Antunes said. "They've been working hard at it and I just want to do whatever little part I can do to try and help them along.

"The future of golf is in the kids. They are going to be the golfers of tomorrow and I like the First Tee's core principles."

The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and allows children ages 7-17, many who would otherwise never be involved with the game of golf, the opportunity to grow as golfers and as people.

The First Tee mission statement is "To impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf."

Antunes said he is looking forward to working with the kids.

"I'm really looking forward to this and I hope to get the kids that have a little interest to grow and the ones that have good interest to continue to provide them with the opportunity to improve as quickly as possible," Antunes said.

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