First Tee – Coastal Carolinas Benefits from Mentor Challenge
On October 31st, 2020 the 3rdAnnual Mentor Challenge was held at Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Named in Memory of Gene Weldon, a 50 year PGA Professional, Gene was instrumental in the formation of Junior Golf along the Grand Strand and surrounding areas. When Gene passed away in 2017, he left a legacy of mentorship and junior golf for years to come. In 2018, the Gene’s Dream Foundation was formed. The idea for the Mentor Challenge was created for mentors to play with junior golfers. Many of the mentors that participate play along side First Tee participants that they have mentored and coached throughout the years. Our First Tee – Coastal Carolinas (FTCC) chapter has been a thankful recipient of the charitable funds generated from the Mentor Challenge.
This year, FTCC had 10 participants representing the three territories the chapter encompasses-Eastern North Carolina, Brunswick County and Horry and Georgetown County play along side their mentors. The mentors ranged from FTCC staff, volunteer coaches and board members. Participants were Anna Brown, Parker Harcum, Harrison Harcum, Cassidy Lytch, Jillian Fatkin, Ryan Jahr, Parker Bumgarner, Nolan Bumgarner, Curtis Williams, Jacob Dowd and Mason Huff.
The teams played a Captain’s Choice format, with the winning team earning a coveted spot in the National Finals at Pinehurst Resort in 2021. Our own participants had quite the day of their own helping to contribute 3 Eagles to their teams. Nolan Bumgarner knocked one in from 30 yards on a Par 5 and Curtis Williams gave his team 2 Eagles! The first one was a flop shot over a bunker on a par 4 and the second was a drained putt from 60’ away on a par 5!