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Metro Parks Newsroom

Mayor Abramson kicks off 2010 First Tee youth golf program

Thursday June 10, 2010

Louisville’s First Tee Program has introduced thousands of local children to the game of golf, and nearly $100,000 in recent improvements to the three-hole AT&T Golf Academy will guarantee that work will continue, Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today at Shawnee Golf Course.

“We’re delighted to be able to continue this partnership with the United States Golf Association and AT & T,” Abramson said. “The First Tee program is much more than just a junior golf program – it’s really a youth development program aimed at making these young adults into good citizens.”

Metro Parks began the roots of its First Tee program in the mid-1990s through a partnership with the Louisville Urban League Youth Golf Program, Shawnee Junior Golf and the Tee Swingers Junior Program. The three-hole AT&T Golf Academy at Shawnee was dedicated in 1998, and in 2005, Metro Parks became the 200th organization to charter a First Tee program.

In 2009, the program doubled its participation from 2008, with approximately 500 children ages 6-18 taking part in the eight-week sessions. Metro Parks’ officials believe they can accommodate 1,000 children during the 2010 sessions, which are currently underway.

More than 60 percent of children who participate in the First Tee Program come from homes whose household incomes are less than $50,000 per year. Participants who complete the eight-week program receive a free starter golf set and bag. Last year, more than 140 schools throughout the Louisville Metro area were represented.

In the past year, AT&T, the USGA and First Tee have combined for more than $100,000 in improvements to the academy, including on-course upgrades to turf grass, bunkers and drainage systems. Also, the Louisville organization named its first Executive Director, D’Shawn Johnson, in a partnership with Louisville Urban League and First Tee. The organization began outreach programs through their Ambassador and Annual Fund programs.

Parents or children interested in registering in or learning more about the program should visit or call 502/772-9494

About Metro Parks Golf:

Four other public golf courses offering First Tee Programs:

  • Seneca Golf Course, 2300 Pee Wee Reese Blvd, 502/458-9298
  • Bobby Nichols Golf Course, 4301 E. Pages Lane, 502/937-905
  • Farnsley Golf Course in Shivley
  • Long Run Golf Course, 1605 Flat Rock Road, 502/245-9015 (affiliate three hole course)

Louisville's nine public golf courses offer a quality golfing experience at some of the most affordable prices in the nation. Each course has its own unique character, and some consistently rank among Kentucky's best and most challenging courses. Metro Parks operates nine municipally-owned golf courses that are challenging to everyone from beginners to scratch golfers. For more information, visit

  • Bobby Nichols Golf Course, 4301 E. Pages Lane, 502/937-9051 (9 holes)
  • Charlie Vettiner Golf Course, 10207 Mary Dell Lane, 502/267-9958 (18 holes)
  • Cherokee Golf Course, 2501 Alexander Road, 502/458-9450 (9 holes)
  • Crescent Hill Golf Course, 3110 Brownsboro Road, 502/896-9193 (9 holes)
  • Iroquois Golf Course, 1501 Rundill Road, 502/363-9520 (18 holes)
  • Long Run Golf Course, 1605 Flat Rock Road, 502/245-9015 (18 holes)
  • Seneca Golf Course, 2300 Pee Wee Reese Blvd, 502/458-9298 (18 holes)
  • Shawnee Golf Course, 460 Northwestern Parkway, 502/776-9389 (18 holes)
  • Sun Valley Golf Course, 6505 Bethany Lane, 502/937-9228 (18 holes)