FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The First Tee of Fresno, in its 15th year at Riverside Golf Course, is about to send its biggest group to the Monterey Peninsula.
Three golfers from that chapter have been selected to play in the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach.
There they'll tee it up with a PGA TOUR Champions professional in a tournament broadcast live on the Golf Channel.
"I know the First Tee has always stressed not necessarily golf skills but how to be a good player," said Buchanan senior Madelyn Stokes. "So I'm excited to be with a bunch of other people that are just fun to play with."
A panel of judges looked at their personal growth and life skills learned through the First Tee's programs as well as their playing ability. Each had to write multiple essays and get multiple recommendations, something similar to a college application.
Clovis East senior Ethel Asequia found out she got in on a plane ride back from the Philippines. "I just shouted like 'oh my gosh I got it!' And then everyone looked back like is everything ok?' she said.
Golfing at a course like Pebble Beach is just one of the perks from this trip. "A lot of our kids end up with the pro-am partners that are huge people in corporations and they can get jobs through them or stays and trips," said Morgan Berling, executive director of the First Tee of Fresno. "And it's crazy thing the people that they meet."
There's also concerts, dinners and practice rounds at Spyglass Hill and The Hay. But for a program built on providing experiences that build character, this Pebble trip just one of many where they can take the life skills they learned through the First Tee. "The kids think they're learning a lot about the golf but really they're learning a lot about the life skills," Berling said.
The field at Pebble features just 78 First Tee players from across the country. Asequia, Stokes and Bullard junior Aaron Parayno are three from Fresno who will tee it up the week of September 18th.
"It's nice to not be doing it alone," said Stokes. "I'm going to know people there and I feel like it'll be more of an exciting fun experience."
WIN A TRIP TO THE 2023 MASTERS
Fundraising goes a long way in funding trips like this and the Fresno chapter has one of its biggest starting this week.
Thursday they will start raffling off two tickets to the opening round of the 2023 Masters. A $100 ticket gives a chance at winning those tickets and a two night stay in Augusta, GA. You can purchase tickets through firstteefresno.org or by calling 559-277-9565. There are also options to purchase the package outright.