The Richmond First Tee program, headed by local business executive Fred Tattersall, is developing a youth oriented golf course as part of a nationwide initiative to make golf accessible to youth. The course is located at Iron Bridge Park in Chesterfield County, VA. This facility consists of an 18 hole, par 66 golf course, a three-hole "tot course," a driving range and a large putting green. The course also has a full service clubhouse with classroom.
Golf course architect, Lester George and former PGA Tour Professional Robert Wrenn are designing the facility and are both donating their design fees to the First Tee program. In 1995, George and Wrenn collaborated on The Colonial Golf Course in Williamsburg, which won national awards.
The 3 million-dollar facility is being funded by public and private donations. Construction began in May of 1999 and is 75% complete. Construction is being performed by Quality Grassing & Services of Lithia, FL, who is building the course for cost.
The Richmond First tee has received equipment and service donations from many vendors in the industry, including Arnold Palmer, Toro and John Deere. The course is scheduled to open in the summer of 2000, making the Chesterfield, Virginia First Tee facility one of the first developed in the nation.
On his involvement with The First Tee, Robert Wrenn said, "I was very fortunate growing up to have had a family who could afford for me to play golf and give me full access to the game. I think it is terrific that, through this venture, we can create an opportunity for kids who don't have access and can't afford to play golf. If we can provide golf to those kids who would not normally be able to learn the game, they will be able to enjoy golf for a lifetime, as I have."
The World Golf Foundation, comprised of members from PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA of America, USGA and Augusta Golf Club, has implemented The First Tee program nationally, using the Richmond, VA area as a pioneer for the program. The First Tee intends to make golf more affordable and accessible to children, especially those who would not normally be exposed to the game, and to instill values and ethics in these children through lessons learned from the game of golf. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush is the honorary chairman for The First Tee national program.