SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 10, 2023 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Eight time Major Champion, Tom Watson and his Watson Links™ program, which was inspired to pave the road for the next generation of lifetime golfers, is expanding beyond its Kansas City base for the first time. Partnering with First Tee – Greater Sacramento, the program will offer free tee times to junior golfers who are connected with mentors on courses in the Sacramento area.

8-Time Major Champion, Tom Watson
Photo caption: 8-Time Major Champion, Tom Watson welcomes kids to our golf courses, through his growing junior program, Watson Links.

Watson Links matches groups of three players with a mentor to play nine holes at a local golf course at no cost to them. These social rounds take young players beyond lessons on driving ranges to the fun of the game on an actual course with enthusiastic mentors who share their passion for golf.

First Tee — Greater Sacramento will be launching a pilot Watson Links program throughout the month of October and a full season of play beginning in February 2024.

“It is a celebration to collaborate with the committed team at First Tee Greater Sacramento in the expansion of our program,” said Watson. “Together we look forward to seeing kids on golf courses in the area as they begin what I hope will be a lifetime journey with a sport which has meant to the world to me. I expect lots of life lessons, laughter and memories to be made among the new players and their mentors too. Golf is a special game and First Tee Greater Sacramento is creating real opportunity for the next generation of lifelong golfers.”

“We are pleased to be the first organization to join the national Watson Links program – a program created and envisioned by all-time PGA great Tom Watson. Watson Links provides a vehicle for youth to play golf at no charge and to spend valuable time with mentors to learn life skills though golf. This program is consistent with the vision, goals and objectives of the First Tee – to provide opportunities for kids to learn and play the game of golf with mentors who help these golfers with learning life skills and values,” said Mike Rockenstein, Chair of the Board First Tee – Greater Sacramento.

Watson Links and First Tee - Greater Sacramento
Image Caption: Watson Links and First Tee – Greater Sacramento.

True to Watson’s intent, the program emulates his own childhood experience as young player with access to golf in giving junior golfers, ages 10 to 18, free access to select golf courses, accompanied by an adult mentor who shows them the ropes as they play, sharing insights on every aspect of the game, from chipping and putting to etiquette and strategy. Every mentor undergoes a thorough background check before being paired with a junior, and tee times are provided by First Tee – Greater Sacramento.

About Watson Links:

Watson Links is the inspired initiative of 8-time Major Champion, Tom Watson, a lifelong advocate opportunities in junior golf. Looking back on his own storied journey with the sport, Watson realized one simple fact: it all began with the question of a father to a son. Tom Watson’s father, Ray, was a club golfer with access and an invitation he shared in a simple question; “Do you want to play golf?” It continued with the extension of time, valuable conversation and the connection built playing a game that delivers all the complexities of competition, the simplicity of bettering your best, the benefits of finding forever friendships and the magic of flat-out fun. The program now hosts young players through First Tee Greater Kansas and First Tee Greater Sacramento.

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About First Tee – Greater Sacramento:

First Tee – Greater Sacramento has positively impacted the young people in Sacramento for 40 years, since 1983. They are a unique youth development organization engaging children with an opportunity to learn positive life skills that include self-management, interpersonal communication, mentoring, goal setting, and effective conflict resolution. First Tee is focused on delivering programs that provide results for our youth and community including Outreach Programs in partnership with other youth serving providers, First Tee School Program, Junior Programs at area golf courses, and programs for individuals with disabilities.

First Tee – Greater Sacramento has successfully grown their program over the last several years. In 2005, they reached 1,500 young people annually. Today, First Tee – Greater Sacramento is impacting over 58,000 youth and individuals with disabilities in the greater Sacramento area with 56,000 participating free of charge each year.

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Photo caption: 8-Time Major Champion, Tom Watson welcomes kids to our golf courses, through his growing junior program, Watson Links.


LeslieAnne Wade
Wade Media Management

News Source: Watson Links