Rich Abraham of The First Tee Coastal Carolinas discusses the recent Champions Challenge event his organization hosted at Wedgefield Plantation to benefit local youth.
Rich Abraham: We have all of the elementary schools in Georgetown County participate in the First Tee Program and in the Champions Challenge, so that’s 11 elementary schools and 14 kids per school, seven boys and seven girls – 154 participants in this event. In years past, we kind of did a “Big Break” format and, frankly, it was very, very difficult to set up and break down. We’re trying to teach these kids golf, so this year it’s a scramble event. You’ve got seven boys and seven girls on each team, so the seven boys are playing a scramble, best ball. They play all the way out and then the girls will do the same and then we’ll combine those team scores at the end to declare winners in our two divisions. There’s also a long drive and straight drive over on the driving range.
This has been going on for seven years. We had a little problem last year with the hurricane and some bad weather, so we lost a year in there, but this is our seventh year of competition. We’ve had six of those at Wedgefield. We had to fill in when Wedgefield was closed for a while and we were at the administrative sports field across town, but it’s great to be back here at Wedgefield. They’re great hosts. Mitch Tompkins, the general manager here, has been awesome. All of these kids have been picked because of their demonstration of the Nine Core Values in school, their academic effort, and their golf skills. They’re all taking golf in gym class with the snag equipment, but I think this takes it to another level. This brings the teamwork impact into it and it’s great because you got them all cheering for each other. You hear the clapping and the carrying on, and they’re having fun!