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Published: Thursday, 7/7/2011

First Tee program comes to area

BY DAVE HACKENBURG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

The First Tee, a youth program started by the World Golf Foundation in 1997 to bring golf instruction and other life skills to disadvantaged youngsters who otherwise might not be exposed to the sport, has finally landed in Toledo.

Collins Park, a nine-hole course on the east side owned by the city and operated by Master Golf Management, has been designated as an affiliate course of the First Tee of Lake Erie.

Lewis Davis has been named local director of the program, which has been a long-time goal of top local amateur Alan Fadel.

Master Golf Management has started an instruction series called "Mornings with Milton" to be based at Collins Park and directed by PGA professional Milton Carswell, Jr. He is an east-side product who was a four-time All-City golfer at Waite and a Toledo Junior Golf Association standout. The series will be on Wednesdays this summer from 9 a.m. to noon.

Collins Park, founded in 1932, is located at 624 Reineck Drive. For information on the First Tee program and Mornings with Milton, contact the pro shop at 419-693-1991.

TWDGA MAJOR: The qualifier for the Toledo Women's District Golf Association match-play championship will be Friday with four days of matches beginning next Tuesday at Valleywood Golf Club.

Helene Beat, who won both of the TWDGA major championships last year en route to Player of the Year honors, is expected to defend her title. Beat defeated perennial finalist Sally Robinson in last summer's championship match.

Other pre-event favorites include Holly Bennett, who leads the 2011 points standings, and Connie Kemp.

Finals in the championship and consolation brackets are scheduled for July 15 at Valleywood.

S.P. JERMAIN: The Toledo Metro Golf Association's venerable S.P. Jermain match-play championship at Ottawa Park begins Saturday with an 18-hole stroke-play round to determine flighting. A maximum of 32 players will be assigned to each of five flights and match play will begin Sunday.

The tournament continues the following weekend with final matches in all flights scheduled for July 17.

Entries are being accepted for two other Metro championships, the 40th annual Toledo Amateur at Detwiler Park (August 12-14) and the Tom Wolf Memorial Classic at both Heather Downs CC and The Legacy (Sept. 10-11). Information and entry forms are available at www.toledometrogolf.com.

JUNIORS' GUEST: The Toledo Junior Golf Association will have a special guest at its season-ending banquet on Aug. 1. Gary Koch, a Champions Tour player and network TV golf commentator, will be the speaker at the event, held the day following the final round of the U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club.

The juniors will play their annual TJGA Invitational at Sylvania Country Club that Monday afternoon with the banquet to follow.

BIG THREE: Augusta National announced Wednesday that three-time Masters champion Gary Player will join Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as honorary starters for the 2012 tournament.

UPCOMING: The 33rd annual La-Z-Boy Junior Tournament will be Aug. 10-11 at Green Meadows in Monroe, Mich. The deadline for entries, available at the club pro shop, is July 30 … The 18th annual scramble benefiting Aurora House will be held Aug. 15 at Toledo Country Club. For entry or sponsorship information, call Aurora Project at 419-244-3200.

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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