Win at Pebble Beach, and you can say you’ve mastered American golf’s ultimate location.
Hinsdale resident Jeff Sluman has done it so often, Ben Crenshaw calls him, “The King of Pebble Beach.”
But when Sluman romped in northern California again last month, it was at an event – The First Tee Open – that carried extra meaning.
The First Tee Open pairs juniors with Champions Tour players in a best-ball format. So Sluman got to see first-hand how the First Tee program helps to produce leaders of the next generation.
“The nine core values,” Sluman said, “are all the values you’d want to teach kids.”
They are: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.
The First Tee promotes those values by providing educational programs through the game of golf.
“There are definitely barriers to entry in golf,” said Sluman, playing this weekend at the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn. “The expense of equipment, time, travel, tee times. If you said, ‘Let everyone play for free, the (clubs) won’t be around for long.’”
The First Tee relies on fund-raisers such as the major event taking place in Chicago on Aug. 17.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus and Northwestern alum Luke Donald will host the 3rd Annual Taste of the First Tee, a wine-tasting extravaganza from 6-9 p.m. at the River East Arts Center (435 East Illinois St.). Broadcaster David Feherty will serve as emcee for the event, which benefits the First Tee of Greater Chicago.
Ticket information can be found at www.thefirstteegreaterchicago.org.
Sluman won’t be able to attend; he’ll be at a Champions Tour event in New York.
“I think Jack’s reserve cabernet is pretty darn tasty,” he said. “Hopefully they will be pouring that.”
Nicklaus, Donald and Feherty to promote First Tee at wine-tasting event
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