WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Young golfers now have a new place to practice through the First Tee of Greater Wilmington.
The organization unveiled new facilities at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course Tuesday and a $100,000 donation from Wells Fargo to grow the program.
The new additions include a short three-hole course and practice green, a new chipping green, new tees, and sod.
First Tee teaches children about the sport of golf and the life skills that go along with it.
"First Tee does such a terrific job of helping kids who maybe don't have the structure at home in terms of learning about the core values of life, honesty, integrity, etcetera," Gordon Dalgleish of First Tee said. "It really warms my heart to know that we're going to make a difference in the months and years ahead."
Three PGA players also held a golf clinic for the students and a Q&A session.
"The coolest thing about the First Tee is not only how young they start, but how well they grow up," Billy Hurley III, golfer, said. "I've been able to see both sides of that. Both the youngsters, five, six years old just starting golf, and then the 17, 18, 20-year-olds who have been in the First Tee program and what fine young men and women the program produces."
Students who have been through the program said they're excited to see the new space for future students.
"I really don't think I'd be where I am without them," Dana Maloy, First Tee participant, said. "I've learned so much respect and people skills, leadership, public speaking, those kind of things. So to see the donation, to see them being able to build another facility, it's very inspiring because I know there's going to be so many kids that are going to have the same opportunities that I did and that are going to be able to learn so much."
First Tee plans to serve 25,000 children in the three-county area by 2019.