The First Tee of Tulsa has hit the 20-year mark teaching kids life lessons and the ins and outs of golf. One program alumnus says the lessons learned on the links helped him live out his dream.
"If I didn't learn from what I learned from the First Tee I wouldn't be where I’m now," said Professional Golfer Tommy Riddle III.
Growing up in Tulsa, Tommy Riddle III was searching for a game to call his own after his father nixed the idea of playing football
"My dad was like 'I don't want you to get hurt'," said Riddle.
So golf became a natural fit and the First Tee of Tulsa showed him the ropes on the links and he hasn't looked back while also teaching the next generation along the way.
"I kind of fell in love with it and I'm very competitive, so wanting to be good at it just was everything for me growing up. I started a little late, 13 or 14, and I started in the program and it took off from there. I still want to let anyone else that’s in my position coming up that feels like they can't make it or can't do it that they can. and I want to come back and be another aid and be an example," said, Riddle.
Riddle III is now living out his dream as a professional golfer but he hasn't forgotten his roots and still gives back to the First Tee of Tulsa.
"That’s why I want to continue to work and be an example for all the kids here, no matter your situation or whatever you going through there’s a light at the end of the tunnel," said Riddle.
The guidance of the First Tee also allowed Riddle to become a business owner as a commercial truck driver.
"I literally learned everything; how to manage money, to manage your emotions, choices, decisions and my favorite core value is judgment, and I took that here and used it in my life."