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PGA TOUR players take First Tee of Memphis participants inside the ropes at the FedEx St. Jude Classic

June 7, 2016

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

Brian Stuard walks with a group of participants from The First Tee of Memphis during their visit to TPC Southwind on June 7.

MEMPHIS- Tuesdays of tournament weeks are usually spent by players and caddies getting to know the course they’re about to try and tame. But, at this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, Tuesday afternoon served as more of a reminder to Tom Hoge and Brian Stuard.

With members from The First Tee of Memphis on hand to for an opportunity to walk Nos. 8, 9 and 10 inside the ropes with the two PGA TOUR members at TPC Southwind, Hoge and Stuard remembered what it was like when they were young. And, it couldn’t have served as better motivation for them to spend time with the kids.

“When I was a kid, I had a group of guys that were five or six years older than I was who played Division I golf and professionally,” said Hoge. “They let me tag along and learn from them, so that really made a difference in my game. It was really cool. Now, to be in the opposite role is really special. I hope they can get as much out of it as I kid.”

“It’s really great to see their enthusiasm for the game,” said Stuard, winner of the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. “It’s cool for me to see that. You don’t see that a lot. Their exuberance is pretty special. It’s contagious and this kind of thing makes for a great time for everyone.”

There is certainly value in learning, but when it can be divided by creating great times for others, the ensuing motivation can lead to equally great results. They’re results which extend beyond the outcome of the golf tournament and spill over into the daily lives of those hoping to one day be walking those fairways for work themselves.

“It is awesome to be inside the ropes. It’s a great experience,” said First Tee Memphis member Bethany Dockery. “You get to talk to the PGA TOUR professionals about their wins and good finishes, what they do before and after tournaments, how it feels after a win. It’s just overall a great experience and I love and appreciate that the First Tee gives me a chance to experience opportunities like this to be out here on this beautiful day. It’s a great feeling.”

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