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John Deere partners with The First Tee at Valero Texas Open (April 2, 2014)

SAN ANTONIO – Spectators at this week’s Valero Texas Open can learn more about The First Tee of Greater San Antonio youth development program and John Deere’s passion for golf by visiting a tournament display sponsored by Deere.

Deere is a national corporate partner of The First Tee, a non-profit youth organization that uses golf as a platform to teach life and leadership skills and provide character education programs for young people.

“We look forward to sharing our story about our program’s positive impact in the lives of youth,” said Mary Carriker, executive director of The First Tee of Greater San Antonio. “Sponsors help us impart important life skills to young people of the San Antonio area as well as expose them to careers in the turf care industry.”

John Deere’s strong commitment to the game of golf is the overall theme of a multimedia display that will premiere at the Valero Texas Open and then visit seven other PGA TOUR events this year. Carriker notes that the display at the Valero Texas Open will be near the 17th green.

Besides The First Tee, the display showcases John Deere’s commitment to golf, which dates back to the 1930s when golf course superintendents began relying on John Deere equipment for turf care and maintenance.

“John Deere is a part of golf’s past, present, and future,” said James M. Field, president of Deere’s Worldwide Agriculture and Turf Division, noting that the company currently is the official equipment supplier of the PGA TOUR; the title sponsor of a PGA TOUR event, the John Deere Classic; and a sponsor of professional golfer Zach Johnson.

In 2013, Deere announced a $1 million 5-year donation to The First Tee, which includes support for The First Tee chapters such as San Antonio and the creation of “Careers on Course” – a program introducing teens to careers in golf course management and the science of agronomy.

The First Tee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than nine million young people in all 50 United States and four international locations.

Later in the year, the John Deere display will visit the Shell Houston Open (Mar. 31 – Apr. 6); the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas (May 12-18); the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines (May 27-Jun. 1); the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston (Aug. 27 – Sep. 1); the TOUR Championship presented by Coca Cola in Atlanta (September 11-14); the SAS Championship in Raleigh (Oct. 6-12) and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Oct. 30-Nov. 2). (original:http://www.golfcourseindustry.com/GCI-032514-deere-firsttee-display.axps)

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