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January 15, 2021

MEDIA ALERT: THE PLAYERS to launch 50-day countdown with First Tee and Duval County Public Schools

WHAT: As our nation gathers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to celebrate the contributions of the civil rights hero who asked “what are you doing for others,” THE PLAYERS, in partnership with First Tee — North Florida, is answering with Lunch on the Links, an open house and clinic hosted to increase awareness and access to the game of golf and First Tee’s character building programs among youth in the Brentwood and neighboring communities.

Marking its 50-day countdown to THE PLAYERS Championship with one of its longest served charitable beneficiaries, THE PLAYERS will join representatives from First Tee — North Florida to announce a new leadership program designed to attract more diverse youth and communities to golf. As a result of the charitable investments received by THE PLAYERS, First Tee is partnering with Duval County Public Schools to produce “Rising Leaders of Jax.” This program will identify 30 middle school students in Duval County Public Schools and introduce them to the game of golf, using it as a powerful vehicle to empower kids to build inner strength and life skills they can carry to everything that they do.  The free, one-year accelerated program will include students selected from middle schools closest to Brentwood Golf Course, where instruction and mentorship are conducted.

During the open house, students and families will enjoy the following:

  • Swing Station with PGA TOUR winner Len Mattiace
  • Putting Station led by First Tee — North Florida instructors
  • Chat Session with First Tee participants and alumni
  • Free lunch courtesy of Firehouse Subs

WHO: Leaders from THE PLAYERS, First Tee, Duval County Public Schools, and City of Jacksonville will participate in ceremonial tee shots to officially kick off the program and 50-day countdown to THE PLAYERS Championship.

  • Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS
  • Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee
  • Len Mattiace, PGA TOUR winner and First Tee — North Florida ambassador
  • Dr. Diana Greene, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools
  • Ju’Coby Pittman, City of Jacksonville City Council Member, District 8
  • Dr. Charles Moreland, Director of Community and International Affairs, City of Jacksonville
  • Mombo Ngu, First Tee Alumnus and University of Florida student
  • Drake Mosley, First Tee Alumnus and PGA TOUR employee

*Note: Interviews will be available with the above dignitaries following the ceremonial tee shots



Monday, January 18

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Note- At 1 pm, the leaders and representatives listed above will address the open house participants, and just after these remarks, these representatives will each hit ceremonial tee shots at 1:20 pm



Brentwood Golf Course

1157 MB01 Golfair Blvd

Jacksonville, FL 32209



Emily Tillo, THE PLAYERS,, 904-424-8572