Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
First Tee of Greater Seattle
April 23, 2003

Good afternoon. I am honored to be here today to help launch this outstanding program here at Jefferson Park with Bob Melvin and Howard Lincoln.

I wish there had been a program like this available when I was first learning how to golf . . . about six months ago. Well, okay, maybe it just seems that way sometimes.

I wish there had been a First Tee program when I was growing up. I used to walk by, to and from school everyday, and always wondered what it was like on the other side of the fence.

The First Tee program is about opportunity. It gives young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to learn the game of golf. But even more impressive “life skills” of core values: confidence, courtesy, honesty, integrity, judgment, perseverance, respect, responsibility and sportsmanship. An opportunity to learn new life skills, to experience competition through golf and to feel a growing sense of self-esteem. It gives them a solid grounding that will last for the rest of their lives.

And what better place to learn than in such a setting? A golf course is a place of serenity, natural beauty, and soul-calming expansiveness. It is a good place to focus on golf, and a good place to focus on life. A good place to think, and a good place to learn.

I commend the founders of The First Tee for getting so many young people headed down a promising path. I also want to thank the great partnership that brought this remarkable program to Seattle two years ago.

And thanks all of you for coming out today to show your support of The First Tee of Greater Seattle and its expansion to Jefferson Park Golf Course. This is a program that our kids deserve, and that deserves our support.

Thank you.

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