Experiencing the TOUR Championship’s Ceremonial Hope Tee Shot

By Ja’Mya Duckworth, Drew Charter School Junior

Each year the TOUR Championship kicks off with the Ceremonial Hope Tee Shot, hit by a First Tee Member in high school. This year the ceremonial tee shot was hit by two seniors, Elsie Husted who attends Drew Charter School and Josh Mitchell, who goes to Riverwood. Getting selected to hit the tee shot starts with a lot of expectations, including competing in a tournament, writing an essay, participating in interviews and being television ready. Elsie has had a history since she was little for doing well in the game of golf.

Following the tee shot, I was able to interview Elsie about her preparation leading up to the shot. Elsie stated, “It was fun preparing for the Hope tee shot. I was working primarily on my driver on the range practicing about six days a week and meeting with my coach frequently. Golf is a sport that often requires a strong mental position to succeed. The mental aspect of golf is often considered just as important, if not more than the physical aspect. Mental aspirations were ninety five percent of the shot.”

The TOUR Championship has made an incredible impact on the community of East Lake through its numerous initiatives and contributions. Its involvement has brought significant positive changes, benefiting the residents and enhancing the overall quality of life in the area. The PGA’s commitment to East Lake has shown its dedication in the community’s development which serves as an inspiration and showcases the transformative power of sports uplifting and empowering neighborhoods. In an interview with Drew Charter School Board Chairperson, Shannon Longino, granddaughter of Eva Davis, who was one of the architects of the East Lake vision, she stated, “When we were going through the revitalization there was a disconnect. Since the partnership with the PGA TOUR was established, it has restored relationships and we know that the community will always be included to participate in experiences like the HOPE Tee Shot.”

The HOPE Tee Shot presents an incredible opportunity for talented high schoolers to not only showcase their skills but also to make a lasting impact on their future. With the chance to secure a prestigious scholarship worth $5,000, these young golfers are able to not only gain recognition for their abilities but also receive valuable financial support towards their educational endeavors. This unique opportunity provided a platform for these students to impress potential sponsors and pave the way for their future success in both their academic and athletic pursuits.