Coach Rick, a transplant from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, joined our volunteer team at The First Tee of the Sandhills in 2016, soon after relocating to our area.
As a semi – retiree, he wanted to find an organization to volunteer with to keep busy while engaging in the community. He enjoyed coaching earlier in his life – football, baseball, wrestling, lacrosse, soccer and basketball – and felt this was a great way to give back in the Sandhills – his new home!
Rick’s move south meant he would get to trade playing in the snow for playing in the short grass!
As a former Facility Manager of a Pharmaceutical company in Delaware, Coach Rick was in charge of snow removal, when needed, at the facility. And yes, he LOVED getting to play in the snow! So, it’s no surprise, when asked his favorite places he has traveled, Vail, Colorado was top on the list.
But today, he would much rather explore all the Sandhills has to offer while finding time to schedule a tee time with friends on Pinehurst No. 5 or The Cradle. Don’t be caught off guard, a natural lefty, Rick swings righty from the fairways while putting lefty on the greens.
When not playing golf and exploring with his wife, Rick loves watching all University of Tennessee sports – maybe he’s a bit partial, as his daughter will graduate from UT this May. Go Vols!
Now that Coach Rick has spent almost three years on our team, we asked him to reflect on his experiences with the organization and provide us some insight into his WHY.
He loves the chance to meet new participants throughout the year, as different kiddos participate in different sessions (spring, summer, fall) while working side by side with fellow volunteers that he describes as enthusiastic and fun to be around.
When working with the kiddos during programs, Coach Rick takes ownership in the chance to help young people develop and improve upon their Life Skills and he finds golf to be a seamless background to deliver each week’s lesson.
While every week’s lesson involves varying degrees of games to engage kiddos in – it’s probably not the over the top games that he enjoys watching the kids play as much as seeing them simply practice their full swing on the driving range. When they ‘connect’ with a ‘big’ shot, their reaction is priceless!
Coach Rick thinks the mission of The First Tee of the Sandhills is a good enough reason to invite others to join him on our volunteer team. And as an added bonus, practicing the Golf Skills they’ve been teaching the kiddos is helping improve his game, too!
Thanks, Coach Rick, for all you do for The First Tee of the Sandhills. We love having you on our team!