Hobby turned business helping First Tee member advance her golf career

Tammy Palmer, General Manager of First Tee-Golden Isles, has witnessed Addison’s transformation firsthand. Not only has she become the golfer, she has matured as such and been empowered by the organization’s core values.

“I think the one word, if I should have a word for Addison, is joy,” she says. “Every time I see Addison and speak to Addison she always has a very bright smile on her face and she is just a beautiful young girl and she has a bright future ahead of her. …

“She has gained so much confidence over the last few years and has really turned into a wonderful young woman. And she has started to be part of some organizations at her school where she is on the governing body. … And the amazing thing is that it’s a new school for them. … And so she jumped in with both feet and. And she’s just going to do great.”

Addison has been a member of First Tee-Golden Isle, which has benefited from the RSM Birdies Fore Love program since her grandfather, Rich Seban, signed her up for summer camp when she was 7 years old. He lives in a golf course community and she was happy to go with him.

“It was just a way for me to get out there and hang out with him,” says Addison.

She also played soccer, volleyball, and basketball, but by the time she was 10, Addison started taking golf more seriously. She and her grandfather play together weekly, but while she’s close, “unfortunately,” she hasn’t beaten him yet, she says.

Addison, a ninth grader at Frederica Academy on Saint Simon’s Island, is drawn to the game’s challenge and the friendships she has made. She will play golf for the Knights this year and was delighted to find out there is another girl on the team who plays “serious” golf.

“I think my favorite part of golf is just being out there and playing it and just enjoying it, seeing how well I’m doing on the day or how badly I’m doing and how I can improve on that,” says Addison.

Now that she’s older and somewhat of a veteran at First Tee-Golden Isle, Addison volunteers three or four times a week. She began working with the youngest children and now focuses on the 7-9 year old age group, teaching them core values, the game and respect for the golf course.

According to Palmer, the donation from the RSM Birdies Fore Love program has enabled First Tee-Golden Isle to expand into three more counties and provide living and leadership opportunities to more children like Addison.

“We’ve been able to add a lot more specialty programs like PGA Junior League and LPGA Girls Golf and our schools program where we have our curriculum and equipment in 25 middle and elementary schools,” she says. “And so we were able to expand that and create a much wider reach than before.”

She knows well the First Tee lessons that Addison teaches to the youth. The core values ​​– honesty and perseverance in particular – are an integral part of their daily lives.

“It taught me a lot about leadership,” Addison says of First Tee’s principles. “I’m part of the leadership team at my school that they have and I think it helped a lot and also built confidence with that to be able to say I’m going to do this and to actually do it and just not say it do and don’t do it.”

Addison’s ultimate goal is to get a college scholarship to play golf. While she has competed in a few tournaments, most notably the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, she hopes to become more regular in 2023 and compete in at least one a month.

Looks like it’s time to sell some more candles.


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