Calvin Men's Golf Team Teams Up With First Tee of West Michigan Program

Calvin Men's Golf Team Teams Up With First Tee of West Michigan Program

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – October 13, 2014 – Grand Valley State women's golf team and Calvin College men's golf team recently took part in an event to help out local youth, hosted by The First Tee of West Michigan at Cascade Hills Country Club.

15 participants of The First Tee paired up with GVSU women and Calvin men's golfers in a nine-hole alternate shot event.  Afterwards, participants, their families and the college golfers ate dinner together and discussed the year.

"This our fourth year doing this event, and our participants say it's their favorite event of the whole year.  It's a great opportunity for our participants to rub shoulders with young role models and learn what the game of golf has done for them," said Tyler Smies, Executive Director of The First Tee of West Michigan and a 2010 Calvin College graduate.  

"We worked with over 340 students at The First Tee program this year, but it really comes down to each individual participant, and how they are growing as a person.  This event gives our young people a confidence boost, and gets them thinking about what they want to be when they grow up," Smies said.

Participants took part in The First Tee's Life Skills Experience at five area courses in West Michigan.  Sessions are held in Grand Rapids at The Highlands Golf Course, Fellowship Greens Golf Course, Cascade Hills Country Club, and Kent Country Club. The First Tee also hosted classes in Muskegon, at University Park Golf Course.

The chapter serves youth age 7-17 from all socio-economic backgrounds teaching them life skills, values, and healthy habits through the game of golf.  This year, The First Tee of West Michigan partnered with Kentwood Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Schools, The Boys & Girls Club, Arbor Circle and many others. 

The First Tee students wrap up outside classes next week, but their clubs are not put away for long.  Starting in mid-November, The First Tee runs their winter program, dubbed "Homework & Hitting," out of The Highlands Golf Course in Grand Rapids and Encounter Church in Kentwood.

For more information on The First Tee of West Michigan, contact 616-965-6633 or visit