First Tee of Greater Charleston

Coach Frank Moore offers instructions to a class of young golfers as part of the First Tee of Greater Charleston program at Patriots Point Links in Mount Pleasant. Provided/First Tee of Greater Charleston

A Charleston-area golf organization is one of 25 across the nation to receive a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Golf Association to promote the sport among young players.

First Tee of Greater Charleston joins First Tee of Aiken as the only other program in South Carolina to receive money from the national organization.

Funds from the national organization will help introduce Lowcountry kids to the sport of golf, as well as hone skills for those already involved in the sport.

The local First Tee chapter, located on Wingo Way in Mount Pleasant, reaches 700 youngsters each year, with another 13,000 local youth participating in First Tee’s National School Program.

Bucky Dudley, executive director of the local chapter, said the grant is a continuation of the USGA’s impact on the Charleston area.

Earlier this year, the USGA held the 74th annual U.S. Women’s Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston.

“We were thrilled to have the USGA Women’s Open in our city this summer, so this partnership hits so close to home,” Dudley said. “We would not be able to run all of the programs we do without the USGA’s help.”

Beyond the grant, the Charleston area First Tee chapter says the USGA is showing how invested it is in both of the Carolinas. This year alone, four of its 14 annual championships have been, or will be, held in either South Carolina or North Carolina, with the latter state netting three tournaments.

All told, the USGA has provided more than $26 million in grant dollars to First Tee organizations around the country since 1997.

“We are proud to see our First Tee grant funding directly benefit those communities that welcome us throughout the year and embrace the spirit of what a USGA championship represents,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the golf organization. “We are excited to see the long-term impact these grants will have in welcoming more junior golfers to the game and to inspire them to play it for a lifetime.”

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry

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