Senator Joins Board Of The First Tee Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson has agreed to serve on the board of directors for The First Tee's first Native American Chapter. The First Tee of The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation will be established in Pine Ridge, SD.

The Chapter, the first in South Dakota, has been in development for several years. The golf-learning facility, which will teach life skills and golf skills, will be located in the Pine Ridge Village. Since no golf facility exists on the Reservation, young people will play golf at affiliated courses in Gordon and Rushville, Neb., and at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. Future goals include the development of a nine-hole training course and a full 18-hole course.

"Economic hardship is an unfortunate reality for many Native American communities. However, if nurtured and given the proper resources, I believe that Native American youth will gain valuable life skills they can apply throughout their lives. I commend The First Tee's efforts to make a positive impact on Native American youth and am proud to be part of the organization," said U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).

"We are pleased that Senator Johnson has confidence in The First Tee to be involved at the board level, which is an extraordinary commitment," said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., executive director of The First Tee. "The First Tee is fortunate to have the support of elected officials at all levels of government. Senator Johnson is the first U.S. Senator to serve on a Chapter board.

"The First Tee exposes our participants to a host of positive values that will help them on and off the golf course," said Barrow. "Confidence, honesty, integrity, and perseverance are some of the values that will assist these young people throughout their lives."

Other board members include Lyle Jack, president; Lawrence Eagle Bull, vice president; Dean Patton, treasurer; Darrel Eagle Bull; Terry Campos; Mike Clifford; Chief Justice of the Lakota Sioux Tribes Michael Swallow; Charles Zimiga; Mr. Lance Christensen, and David Noble.

"Senator Johnson will be a great asset for our board and we look forward to working with him," said Lawrence Eagle Bull, board vice president. "Our goal is to reach 200-300 children our first year. I don't think it's unrealistic for us to reach as many as 1,000 children by our third year."

Noble, executive director of The First Tee of The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, will held a meeting on December 17 at 9 a.m. to inform the public of the Chapter's mission, plans, and future goals.

About The First Tee

The First Tee ( is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Augustine, FL at World Golf Village, home of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has opened over 230 golf-learning facilities in 43 states and five international locations, and has introduced the game of golf and its values to over 625,000 participants.