First Tee of Central Ohio, formerly known as Morty's Kids, invited a select group of junior golfers to participate in the eighth annual junior program at Ohio State, conducted by the OSU PGM Student Club. Members of the club developed and put on the eight-week program for approximately 30 First Tee players. Instruction included the nine Core Values of First Tee, golf etiquette, rules of golf, as well as the golf swing. The program took place in the golf practice center of the OSU Recreation & Physical Activities Center (RPAC). Overseeing this year's activities were Brent Bower and Rick Towle, PGA member and Executive Director of First Tee of Central Ohio. According to both, there wasn't much to do, because the PGM students were in charge from the first week of this year's program. The program ended with a short game and putting contest at the OSU Golf Club, followed by a dinner and awards ceremony at the golf club's restaurant, attended by the junior golfers, their parents and the PGM student instructors.
The partnership between Morty's Kids (First Tee) and OSU PGM began in 2007 through the leadership of Tod Ortlip, Chairman of the Board for the Morton Foundation, and Todd Hecht, then Head Golf Professional at the Lakes Country Club. Since that time, the Morton Foundation has funded the annual spring program, which has benefitted over 200 junior golfers from the Columbus area.
For many OSU PGM students, this program is their first opportunity to teach golf. So, before teaching the juniors, the PGM students receive basic teaching instruction from PGA professionals, Chris Walsh and Tim Kerr. And, by the end of the program, the PGM students unanimously agree that teaching in this setting is very rewarding. Club officers in charge this year, Evan Hartnett and Alex Kaufman, also became First Tee certified instructors before the program began.