Printer Friendly

First Tee of Arkansas swings for diversity.

First Tee of Arkansas, a program designed to develop kids' characters while exposing them to golf, is working to make the program more diverse.

Of the more than 4,500 kids that are in or have been in the four-year-old program, only 15 percent to 20 percent are African-American, and only about 2 percent are black girls--figures that are below the national average for First Tee programs, according to executive director Tony Hourston.

Hourston said myriad challenges are keeping the program from having more young golfers across the color spectrum.

"For the longest time golf is perceived to be an exclusionary sport," said Hourston, himself a black golfer.

To dispel that notion and others that hinder black involvement, First Tee has recruited Renee Powell, the second black player on the LPGA Tour, to bring in more kids from the black community.

Powell will talk to kids about her experience as a black female golfer in the late 1960s with the hope of getting more kids to follow her lead in making the sport more diverse.

Hourston said Powell helped pave the way for golf diversity's poster child: Tiger Woods. Also, Powell's father is the only African-American to design, own and build his own golf course.

Hourston also wants to dispel some myths about First Tee to the African-American community. He's quick to point out the minimal cost of playing the course and the availability of need-based scholarships. First Tee is also working with other organizations to help with transportation to the southwest Little Rock facility.

Learning how to play golf can be a good career move for minority youths, Hourston said.

"What better atmosphere to garner business than golf?" he said,
COPYRIGHT 2005 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Comment:First Tee of Arkansas swings for diversity.(Golf)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Mar 21, 2005
Previous Article:New courses open around the state.
Next Article:Alotian Club roster not entirely top secret.

Related Articles
Golf Courses in Arkansas.
First Tee teaches kids more than just golf: Skills needed in game of life emphasized. (Golf Links).
Nearly 200 courses challenge Arkansas golfers.
First Tee's new management is looking for sponsors.
More than 200 courses challenge Arkansas golfers.
Welcome to The Alotian Club: Warren Stephens opens the gates for a tour of his golfing estate.
More than 200 courses challenge Arkansas golfers.
Alotian is Golf Digest's best new course.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters