Wendy joined the First Tee of Orange County at the end of September 2019. Wendy graduated in elementary education and has always had a passion for teaching and coaching others. She started playing golf early in her sales career, so she was able to play in golf tournaments with her clients. Wendy became hooked on golf and has been playing “customer” golf and golf for personal enjoyment ever since.
Prior to coming to the First Tee of Orange County, Wendy led sales teams for consumer packaged goods companies, telecommunications and the for-profit education industries. She served on the board of the non-profit Youth Employment Service (YES) for four years as a member on both the marketing and programming committees.
Wendy is very passionate about the First Tee mission and the ability to lead an organization that impacts the lives of the young people of Orange County by providing educational programs that build character through the game of golf. Her goal is to expand the reach of the program to more golf courses, after school programs and school districts throughout Orange County so more young people have the opportunity to participate in the First Tee program. Wendy’s favorite part of her job is seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of the First Tee players as they make contact with a golf ball and have fun during their class time at the driving range, putting green or out on the course.
Coach Jason was introduced to golf by his dad when he was 10 years old. He was hooked immediately and enjoyed playing whenever he got the opportunity. In 2011 Coach Jason qualified for the US Mid-Armature and his career low round is an exceptional 63! He continued to play golf in high school and college. In 2008, Jason finished his degree in criminal justice, but continued working at a golf course. He met his wife while at a golf course in 2006. Jason loves the way that The First Tee brings together the idea of enhancing a person’s golf skills as well as their life skills via the Nine Core Values. His favorite core value is Integrity. “Being able to consistently do the right thing, even when nobody is watching, is sometimes difficult but extremely impressive,” says Jason. “A person with sound personal integrity is so respected in my mind because they are easy to trust and comfortable to be around. I truly love teaching young people the essential values and skills to make them better people on and off the golf course.”
Coach Sami loves what the game of golf can do for one’s personal development. She learned how important it was to believe in one’s self and that only you are responsible for your success on and off the golf course. Sami grew up playing golf on the island of Oahu. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in biology at Chaminade University of Honolulu, she attended Saddleback College in Mission Viejo to play competitively on the women’s golf team. She competed in both amateur and semi-pro events. Sami later became the assistant coach of Saddleback College’s women’s golf team and was inducted into the Saddleback College Hall of Fame. In 2012, she completed her certification as a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. Currently, Sami likes to focus on developing the core energy of the golfer. She believes golf is the ideal sport to help shape individual from the inside out
Coach Scott found the game of golf at the age of 14 after a series of baseball related injuries. Immediately becoming hooked, he tried out and made the high school golf team. Three years later he was the captain of the golf team and helped lead the team to two consecutive undefeated seasons. Then he later returned to his alma matter to be the assistant golf coach. A few years later Coach Scott decided to expand his golf knowledge and enroll at the Golf Academy of America. To this day he continues to grow his knowledge of the game and is currently a level 1 Associate in the PGA program. Although he is very passionate about the game of golf, he is a firm believer that the quality of your character is far more important than the quality of your golf game!
Timmy Dinh was born in a small town close to Aachen, Germany, on July 28, 2001 and at age 13 moved to Orange County. One of his biggest achievement in his life was getting awarded a $30,000 scholarship (over 4 years) to attend Long Beach State because of his involvement with The First Tee of Orange County. Timmy’s golf journey started in 2014 when his mom put him in a PLAYer 9 class with TFTOC to learn about golf. He had his doubts about playing the game but soon, he enjoyed playing golf and continued to advance in the program and junior coach along the way. The summer before his senior year in high school, he coached with the program for over 100 service hours! During that summer, Timmy fell in love with coaching our kids. When Timmy turned 18 he became a lead instructor and his former coach became his first boss. Our chapter is incredibly proud of the young man Timmy is and we are so happy that he has found a passion for coaching while furthering his education..
Coach Antonio first was introduced to the game of golf through First Tee. It was the start of a new chapter in his life. Since joining First Tee as a player in 2017, he had moved from a player to volunteer coach, to now Lead instructor. He has the experience of learning and coming to understand the core values and the game of golf to now teaching the core values and golf to the next generation. He continued to play golf for his High School team and is working to go to college for pre-medicine. He enjoys coaching because he is able to use his knowledge and experience to better help someone else. His favorite core value to teach is courtesy because it encourages everyone to continue to push themselves to be better for the people around them. He hopes that he inspires other First Tee players to work hard and become First Tee coaches.
Coach Robert Stevens is a PGA of America class “A” professional and has worked in the golf industry for over 20 years as a Head Golf Professional, a Director of Golf and also a Director of Instruction for both private and public golf courses here in the Southern California area. He started playing golf at the age of 5 years old when his grandparents gave him a cut down set of Tommy Ammour “Silver Scotts” steel shafted irons, which he still has to this day. Coach Rob played golf in high school, college and professionally. He has also coached golf in high school and college. But he really enjoys helping young and beginner golfers learn the same skills he did oh so many years ago. Says Coach Rob, “Golf is such a great game because it helps prepare you for the game of life. It teaches you the 9 core values in a environment that is fun and enjoyable. Plus, we are able to meet new people and experience the great outdoors. I call that a WIN/WIN!”
Our chapter is one of many in the First Tee network. First Tee is reaching young people in all 50 states and select international locations on golf courses, in elementary schools and through other youth-serving organizations.