Lea Jesse from First Tee – Greater Chicago

Our guest this episode on The Chicago Golf Report podcast is Lea Jesse, Chief Executive Officer of First Tee – Greater Chicago. The organization uses the game of golf to help kids build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges.

First Tee – Greater Chicago provides Life Skills Experience programming at select Chicago Park District facilities and Harborside International Golf Center, Glenwoodie Golf Club, and in Waukegan through the Waukegan Park Districts. The organization strives to instill in participants First Tee Nine Core Values – honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. Young people who become members of First Tee – Greater Chicago enjoy a variety of opportunities to learn life skills that can help them grow as individuals and prepare for the future.

In this conversation with Lea we learn:

  • How First Tee – Greater Chicago uses golf as a tool to teach kids life skills and values
  • Why Tiger Wood’s rise to fame helped bring The First Tee to life
  • How the organization helped turn the 100-year-old Waveland clock tower building, adjacent to Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course, into a youth facility and golf practice area
  • The challenges and rewards of bringing together donors, volunteers, and industry leaders to help accomplish the organization’s goals
  • How Cubs’ All-Star Ian Happ became involved with First Tee – Greater Chicago and his personal connection to golf
  • What the future looks like for First Tee – Greater Chicago and youth golf in Chicagoland
  • How First Tee – Greater Chicago, in partnership with the Evanston Wilmette Golf Association, KemperSports, the Western Golf Association, and First Tee – Greater Chicago are working together in the restoration of Canal Shores Golf Course in Evanston


Walter Lis

Walter Lis is the managing editor of Chicago Golf Report. Launched in 2010, Chicago Golf Report is the most visited website on Chicago golf and is one of the top ten most popular local golf websites in the country. We are a digital-only news and information resource covering everything golf in Chicago and its suburbs, providing the latest news about local golf facilities, golf events, golf instruction and even golf business.

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