Teeing up tradition: Teens take the first tee at the TOUR Championship

Two high school seniors, Elsie Husted and Josh Mitchell, are set to make their mark at the TOUR Championship by hitting the HOPE Tee Shots to kick off the competition for the $18 million bonus. Both Elsie and Josh are members of First Tee-Metro Atlanta and attribute their love for golf to the fairways of East Lake Golf Club.

Elsie, who has been part of First Tee for 12 years, recalls watching golf tournaments on TV when she was 7 or 8 and being captivated by Rory McIlroy's gameplay. Her experience following McIlroy and Tiger Woods at East Lake further solidified her passion for golf. The iconic moment of walking behind these legendary golfers left a lasting impact on her and her family.

Similarly, Josh's connection to golf and First Tee started when he was introduced to the sport by his grandfather. He found the ever-changing nature of golf appealing and appreciated the constant challenges it presented. He has developed his skills over the years, attracting attention from colleges and attending various golf events and camps.

The HOPE Tee Shot, a tradition at the TOUR Championship since 2008, provides scholarships and VIP experiences for two First Tee-Metro Atlanta members. Elsie and Josh were chosen as the 2023 HOPE Tee Shot honorees, a recognition they both find surreal and exciting.

Elsie and Josh's journey with First Tee-Metro Atlanta has fostered a sense of belonging and family. They highlight the program's unique atmosphere that not only focuses on golf skills but also promotes personal growth, networking, and building connections.

Both teens are set to tee off ahead of Jordan Spieth and Sepp Straka on the first tee at East Lake Golf Club. Their participation in the TOUR Championship signifies a full-circle moment, as their initial exposure to golf occurred on these very fairways. Through their dedication, passion, and hard work, Elsie and Josh represent the bright future of golf and the positive impact of programs like First Tee.