Blog Number 22 - 6/1/10

firstteelogo200Phil Gaggero at Lake Padden said today the First Tee Program will not begin at Lake Padden later this summer, as originally intended, but will in fact launch in spring of next year. While the later start date is disappointing to everyone who was looking forward to the First Tee coming to Bellingham, BellinghamGolfer believes Gaggero is doing exactly the right thing in pushing the start date back. Initiating a program as complex and sizeable as that of the First Tee, and one that could potentially have a very significant impact on the whole town, requires very careful planning. Several volunteers are required for starters. 'Volunteers are very important to a successful program,' says Phil. 'The proper training and staffing of volunteers needs to be done corrrectly. Extra time will give us the ability to screen and train interested volunteers.' Then there's funding. Gaggero is setting up a number of events in the summer and fall to give the program a head start financially. 'We will be able to purchase supplies and clubs, and also allocate funds for marketing and advertising,' he says.
Scheduling First Tee classes around Lake Padden's existing junior golf programs was also proving difficult. Gaggero now believes he will be able to schedule both more effectively for next year. By starting fresh in 2011, Phil says, he can incorporate all the programs under one umbrella.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, more time was needed to become familiar with the program's rather extensive instructional material. 'I wanted to be more up to date with the method and style of teaching the classes,' Phil says. 'I will be attending some with Jeff Cornish (First Tee of Snohomish County) to see how they deliver the content. I have been provided with a training workbook with sample lessons but this just scratches the surface of what is to be done.'
In short, Lake Padden just wasn't ready to roll out the First Tee this year. 'We did not have everything set correctly in place,' says Gaggero, 'and I felt the delivery would have suffered as a result. However, we are very exited about starting the program and doing it right next year.'
BellinghamGolfer applauds Phil Gaggero for not rushing headfirst into something as important as this - far better for 2010 to be spent building a solid foundation on which Lake Padden's First Tee program can flourish than discovering how not to do it.

BellinghamGolfer would like to congratulate Chris Jorgensen and Bill Thomas for winning 1st place Gross at North Bellingham's Spring Shootout over the Memorial Day weekend. The pair won by a shot over Bob Shannon and Bill Drummond with a score of 272. Congratulations too to Dave Guida who had a hole-in-one during the event and won a $747 Ace Pot.

We also want to give a big shout to Matt Cowell and Charlie Bolton for shooting a gross 59 at the recent two-man scramble at Lake Padden. No, a two-man scramble is hardly an individual medal round, but anytime you're part of a 59 it needs celebrating!

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