The Lasting Impact of The Pure Insurance Championship by William Perez

The Pure Insurance Championship will go down as one of the best weeks of my life. Not only did The Pure Insurance Championship give me the ability to play Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills golf courses, but it also further instilled the Nine Core Values that The First Tee prides itself on. I had the pleasure of playing with Joe Durant and while we didn’t play well the first day at Pebble Beach he couldn’t have been a better partner. Mr. Durant was outgoing, upbeat, and taught me so much in the short time I got to spend with him. Mr. Durant would always say hello to everyone on the course and took the time to help me read putts and make the right club selection. While we were never on top of the leader-board he still played and acted like everything was going well. Through his actions of patience and positivity, I learned to emulate them into my own game and I feel it will have a positive and lasting impact on my game here in the future. Mr. Durant is one who I can safely say lives by The First Tee’s Nine Core Values on a day to day basis, and his support throughout the tournament meant a great deal to myself and my family. Not only did my pro help make my week at The Pure Insurance Championship, but the whole experience outside of golf is unbelievable. Everyone wanted to make sure that everything was perfect and I felt as if so many people truly wanted to make it the best time of my life. It’s not too often you go to a place and feel as welcomed as I did at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills. Everyone from the front desk to the volunteers on the course made sure everything was alright and knew the impact this tournament has on the juniors which was refreshing to know that everyone was trying to make you feel welcomed and wanted at the tournament. While my entire time at the tournament was truly a dream come true, the one thing that really made me week was the ability to speak with donors and Mr. McLaughlin on the final evening of the tournament. This was not only a huge honor to be accepted but also allowed me to say just how much the week meant to me. While nervous at first, I soon felt comfortable and noticed that I had never seen people so interested in what I had to say. It felt odd at first but as I was leaving I noticed how all donors and board members have the same goal in mind, to teach young people like myself to be leaders and live a successful and happy life. It made me realize how everyone in The First Tee shares this love and passion for not only growing the game of golf but also making sure everyone in their program is ready to live a great life. I can’t thank everyone who made this possible enough and I really appreciate everything The First Tee has taught me both on and off the course. It is truly amazing to be a part of this wonderful organization and I hope for many more great years with The First Tee. -William Perez