Macey Mooneyham, a rising senior at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, is one of two college students who joined The First Tee of the Sandhills through our summer internship program in late May. She is a sport management major and scholarship athlete on the Lady Spartans golf team.

Macey, along with Mason Scott, are living and breathing all things The First Tee this summer. We’ll get to hear from M&M about their experiences, takeaways and lessons learned inside the ropes.

I hope you enjoy hearing about some of Macey’s experiences in her own words below.

Hi readers!

I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to complete my summer internship here at The First Tee of the Sandhills. My first 30 days have been jam packed and so fun. I’m from Southern Illinois, so it was an 11-hour commitment to get here, but, so far, it’s been worth it.

On my second day here, I helped with our local “Get Drive, Chip and Putt Ready” competition, and from there the work has taken off.

Immediately I got to see the ins-and-outs of the office operation, which has been such a neat experience. Every day in the office we’ve worked on our assigned projects, individually, and worked together to prepare for any upcoming events.

Although the Caddiemaster Open was postponed to Aug. 8 because of the weather on its scheduled June 10 date, this was an event we prepared several days for — putting together signage, collecting and organizing prizes, assembling tee gifts and much more.

The next event I helped with was Women’s Golf Day at Highland Country Club in Fayetteville. At this event we all participated in a golf yoga session, courtesy of Pure Barre, then took the fun outside for some friendly putting games like tic-tac-toe, knock the duck off the tee and 21.

While rotating from station to station a guest could grab a fresh juice drink prepared by Carrots Juice Bar. We ended the morning with a great catered lunch from the HCC chef. I loved seeing so many women come out to support one another around the game of golf.

Later in the week, we participated in the All Sports Camp hosted by Aberdeen Parks and Rec. Friday, the final day, was golf day! We took the kids through a few hitting stations, as a warm up, and then all came together for a big game of golf baseball — always a crowd favorite.

We’ve partnered with the Tarheel Youth Golf Association to run one-day junior golf tournaments across the Sandhills. While I’ve been competing in tournaments for the majority of my life, it’s been really fun and eye opening to be on the other side of the ropes and run the event.

So far, I’ve helped with our events at Talamore GC and CC of Whispering Pines — plus, we have four more events coming up.

Last week I was assigned to STEM Camp at Pinehurst No. 6. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. We tie in all of these subjects during camp week, showing the participants their correlation to the game of golf.

For example, on technology day, we cut down old wooden golf clubs to be kid-friendly sizes and let everyone hit, chip and putt, with the participants comparing the results to their own golf equipment. Every day at camp is something different, keeping the kids excited and on their toes.

On Sunday, we hosted a first ever family funday at Bayonet at Puppy Creek in Raeford. We set up a birdie ball inflatable pinwheel, chipped the ball into kiddie pools, cooled off by hitting softball-sized water balloons, while also playing putt crochet and chip tac toe.

Parents were encouraged to participate in the games with their kiddos — making it even more of a family experience. Maybe it was the abundance of watermelon and ice pops consumed but this was such a fun event!

I am very excited to continue this journey with The First Tee and look forward to all I’m going to learn over the next two months. More to come.

Courtney Stiles is the executive director of The First Tee of the Sandhills. Contact her at cstiles@thefirsttee

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