The First Tee of Phoenix Celebrates Opening of First Native American Community Facility in AZ

Arizona Sports News online

The First Tee of Phoenix is a non-profit organization created by The Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life. On Saturday morning, they held a grand opening for their newest facility at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale. 

With this new facility, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community becomes the first Native American community to host a The First Tee facility in Arizona. For the grand opening, more than 200 came out to enjoy a site blessing, junior golf clinic, traditional dances and other activities.

“Talking Stick is a fantastic golf facility that will certainly be an ideal place for youngsters to learn, play and enjoy golf and the many life lessons it teaches,” said Tim Kloenne, Board Chair for The First Tee of Phoenix. “The partnership also symbolizes the unique way that the game brings communities together, builds friendships and creates a positive foundation for the growth of our future community leaders.”

“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is proud to partner with The First Tee of Phoenix and The Thunderbirds to bring this fun and affordable program to Talking Stick Golf Club,” added Martin Harvier, Vice President of SRPMIC. “There will be tremendous positive impacts to the health and well-being of our youth and the life skills they will learn by participating in the program.”

The First Tee of Phoenix now has 14 facilities with the addition of Talking Stick including: South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Falcon Dunes, Longbow, Lone Tree, Cave Creek, Encanto, Maryvale, Augila, Palm Valley and Augusta Ranch. Each providing opportunities for participants to learn valuable life skills and character-building lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf. 

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.