The mission of First Tee – Greater Akron is to impact the lives of kids in Greater Akron by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. In 2020, First Tee – Greater Akron directly impacted 22,338 kids in the Greater Akron community through programs delivered at 3 program locations, 53 schools and 10 Akron community centers.
One of the chapter’s many success stories is Chase Johnson. Chase loved golf before the First Tee – his first words were “da ball” as he pointed at a golf ball – but it was the First Tee that helped shape his career.
“You prioritize things that need to come first and you do it, and the First Tee teaches you all of that,” Chase said. “And when you are struggling or your back’s against the wall, you find a way to persevere through it. They set you up perfectly for collegiate golf in that aspect.”
Chase attended the First Tee from age 5 through high school, and he went on to play college golf at Kent State, where he was the MAC Golfer of the Year as a sophomore and was named to the MAC First Team three times.
Since graduating with a degree in Organizational Communications, Chase has continued on his path to the PGA TOUR. As a Korn Ferry Tour rookie in 2020, he finished runner-up at the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes in just his second start on Tour.
“Because of the First Tee I’ve had all the opportunities to play collegiate golf, get to the Korn Ferry Tour and prepare to go to the PGA TOUR,” Chase said.