Participant Spotlights: Pure Insurance Edition
Meet Izzy (left), Angelica (center), and Hailey (right)! They will be the three participants from our chapter who will have the opportunity of a lifetime and play Pebble Beach Golf Links at the 2018 Pure Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee!
At the Pure Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee, selected juniors from different chapters of The First Tee all over The United States are paired with PGA Tour Professionals and compete in an unforgettable week that will test not only their golf skills, but also all their hard work and knowledge of The First Tee.
Being selected for this unique opportunity is no easy task! Prospective applicants go through an application process that reviews their efforts in The First Tee, how they give back to the community, as well as their golf skill. Out of the hundreds of applicants from all over The United States, only 81 are selected for this great opportunity. The First Tee of Contra Costa is proud to have three of our participants join this event, continue reading to learn more about them!
1) When did you start with The First Tee?
Isabelle: I started with The First Tee when I was 7 after I found out about The First Tee at the Concord Kid Fest.
Hailey: I have been involved in The First Tee for 11 years. It’s hard to believe that I have been in this program since I was six. Time really does fly when you surround yourself with amazing participants and coaches.
Angelica: I started playing with The First Tee 5 years ago when I started golf.
2) In your bag, what is your favorite club? Your least favorite club? Why?
Isabelle: My favorite club is my putter because I am accurate with it. My least favorite club is my sand wedge because it has such a wide range of distances that I am still working on.
Hailey: My favorite club in my bag would definitely be my driver. I chose my driver because there is no better feeling than hitting a good drive straight down the center.
Angelica: My favorite club would have to be my putter, and my least favorite club would have to be my fairway wood. I like my putter because putting is my favorite part of the game, and I don’t really like hitting my fairway wood because I am not so accurate with it.
3) Who would be your dream foursome (what 4 people would you like to play golf with?)
Isabelle: My dream team would be Paula Creamer, Amy Olsen and Tom Watson.
Hailey: My dream would be to play with Arnold Palmer, my dad, and stepmom. Arnold Palmer is my first choice because he was an amazing golfer and person.
Angelica: I would like to play golf with Arnold Palmer, Stephen Curry, Lydia Ko, and Barack Obama.
4) What is the best/favorite thing your coach has taught you?
Isabelle: The best thing my coach has taught me is how to get out of a bunker. He told me that the best way to get out of a bunker is to not get in it.
Hailey: The best advice any coach ever gave me was to surround myself with people that are going to only help grow to be my best self. This piece of advice helped me so much when picking my Go-To-Team.
Angelica: My favorite thing my coach has taught me is to “always stay in the moment” and to “emotionally commit to every shot.” I feel like having those messages constantly in the back my head makes me play my best.
5) What are you looking forward to at the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee?
Isabelle: I am looking forward to getting to experience playing with the Champions in front of an audience larger than just my parents.
Hailey: When I’m at Pebble I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to play with a pro and learn from them. I am also very excited to meet new people that share the passion as me.
Angelica: Definitely meeting other First Tee participants and the pros. It’s also not every day that you can play at Pebble Beach.
6) Which Life Skill(s) learned at The First Tee do you apply the most on and off the course?
Isabelle: The life Skills I use the most are CARE and STAR. CARE means Communicate, Actively listen, Review options, and End with a win-win situation. STAR means Stop, Think, Anticipate, and Respond. Both are good for on and off the golf course.
Hailey: Through The First Tee I learned how to set attainable goals that are stepping stones to my dream. Using specific goals has helped me not only in school but golfing as well.
Angelica: I use the STAR method a lot when I’m making decisions. STAR is an acronym that stands for “Stop, Think, Anticipate, Respond” and it becomes useful when playing on the course, since it helps me prepare for my shot and make better decisions for the following holes. STAR is useful outside of the golf course as well because you can apply those same concepts to pretty much everything.
7) What is your most memorable experience on the golf course?
Isabelle: My most memorable experience on the golf course is when I got my first Eagle at a tournament at Lake of The Pines. I had a long putt of about 25 feet. I made the putt and it was going straight for the hole. My playing partner was near the flag which was still in the hole. My playing partner failed to pull the flag from the hole so instead of getting an Eagle, I got a 2 point penalty for hitting the flag pole and ended up with a bogey.
Hailey: My most memorable experience was getting a hole in one at a First Tee tournament. It was amazing getting a hole in one with my dad watching me. My team and I were so excited, I will never forget it.
Angelica: I was playing in this one tournament and I hit my third shot on a par 5. Once we got up to the green, I as well as my competitors were confused of where my ball went. I joked saying, “Maybe it went inside the hole.” I made my way to the hole and looked inside, and sure enough my ball was inside of the hole.
8) Do you play other sports? If so, what do you play?
Isabelle: I don’t really play any other sports.
Hailey: Not currently, at the moment my only focus is golf.
Angelica: I used to play badminton and volleyball but ultimately decided to commit to golf.
9) Do you take part in any extracurricular activities?
Isabelle: I am a volunteer coach for The First Tee of Contra Costa. I help with the evaluations for The First Tee after each session has ended. I play in various tournaments outside of The First Tee both for fun and for competition. I am have also been on my high school varsity team for the past 2 years and I am on the team this year. I am a server at the “Visions of Christmas” Teas that my school puts on after Thanksgiving. I do the live steaming on Facebook of the Sunday Services at my church so that those that can not make it to the service can still see the service. I also take care of any young children in the “Playroom” at church.
Hailey: Last year I was in a class called Human Rights, where we volunteered outside of school to make a difference in our community. This year I am involved in sports leadership, which is responsible for fundraising so that sports can have the equipment they need.
Angelica: I work as a junior caddie as a part of the Youth on Course caddie program called Caddie Now. I also do a lot of volunteer work with my friends as well as The First Tee.
10) Is there anything else you would like to share?
Isabelle: I would like to share that I like to sing.
Hailey: I am very grateful for The First Tee to give me the opportunity to play at Pebble Beach this September. Can’t wait to have the experience of a lifetime!
Angelica: I’m a REALLY big dog person! I hope that I can own and take care of a dog in the future.
Thank you Angelica, Hailey and Isabelle; we hope you have an amazing time at Pebble Beach!