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Fred Couples Donates Presidents Cup Funds to First Tee of Greater Seattle


Seattle native Fred Couples designated a check in the amount of $20,000 to the First Tee of Greater Seattle. The contribution is a portion of the charitable proceeds generated by the 2009 Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, where Couples served as captain of the U.S. Team.

"The First Tee of Greater Seattle is honored, thrilled and deeply thankful to be a recipient of Mr. Couples' generosity," remarked Heidi Wills, executive director. Calling him a role model for the program's young golfers, she said Couples exemplifies the First Tee core values of respect, confidence and sportsmanship. She also noted he epitomizes another core value, perseverance, with his remarkable achievements while enduring recurring back problems.

"This funding comes at a crucial time for our nonprofit organization and will allow us to expose children to golf who might not otherwise have the opportunity," Wills emphasized. The organization is headquartered at Seattle's Jefferson Park Municipal Golf Course, where Couples played during his early years of golf.

Couples grew up in Seattle where his father worked in the City of Seattle's Parks and Recreation Department. As a youngster, "Freddie" caddied for a local player who gave Couples his first set of golf clubs. He became a top junior and amateur player in the region before play golf at the University of Houston.

Since turning pro in 1980 he has amassed 15 Tour victories and numerous awards and nicknames. In 1992, he won the Masters and was named PGA Player of the Year, PGA Tour Player of the Year and won the Vardon Trophy (for low scoring average). He was a member of the U.S. Presidents Cup Team four times and will make his debut on the Champions Tour this year.

Among his nicknames are "Boom Boom" for his booming drives, "Freddie Cool" because of his easygoing temperament, "Mr. Skins" because of his dominance in Skins Games, and "King of the Silly Season," in reference to the made-for-TV events staged in the winter that are sometimes known as the "silly season."

About the First Tee of Greater Seattle

The First Tee of Greater Seattle (www.TheFirstTeeSeattle.org) was formed in 2001 from a collaborative effort involving the Broadmoor Golf Club Foundation, the First Tee, the Board of Municipal Golf of Seattle and the City of Seattle. It became the 106th chapter of the First Tee on December 20, 2002. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people in the greater Seattle area by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

The Seattle chapter began programming for 224 kids in 2003 at Jefferson Park. Since then it has expanded to Jackson Park Golf Course (in 2004), the Crossroads Par-3 Golf Course in Bellevue (2005) and the Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent (2009). Last year, the First Tee of Greater Seattle served over 1,000 kids ages 8 to 18 at these facilities. The First Tee also offers introductory classes for 6- and 7-year-olds called Target/New Friends to Golf. Additionally, the organization introduces over 20,000 elementary school children to golf in their physical education classes through the National School Program in the Seattle and Kent School Districts.