W. Scott Yard picked the right table.
During the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Player’s Dinner a year ago,
the Whitford Country Club member sat with Bill Hyndman, V, The First
Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s Executive Director.
“Obviously, the subject of The First Tee came up,” Yard, 72, of
Downingtown, Pa., said. “I was asking about how things were going in
Philadelphia and said that I’d love to be involved. He indicated that they
had been looking for somebody to start a Chester County chapter. I said,
‘You’re looking at him.’ That was sort of the beginning. I wasn’t sure
“We’re always looking for volunteers and for people interested in helping
what we do,” Hyndman added. “A lot of times, people will mention things
and then it never happens. Scott and I connected that week and talked
about some clubs we were going to do some outreach to. The wheels
started moving all because of the Player’s Dinner.”
The template of said plan? Establish First Tee programming in Ches-
ter County. Yard, who coaches golf at Downingtown East High School,
suggested connecting with Applecross Country Club and Eric MacCluen of
Eric MacCluen Golf. Once the logistics settled in place, Applecross hosted
an eight-week girls’ program, for children ages 12-14, on Saturdays in April
and May. MacCluen provided golf instruction, with First Tee leadership skills
among the lessons.
“I like programs that are out of the norm or out of the box because
you get to meet kids who maybe haven’t come to a private club yet,”
MacCluen, 51, of Downingtown, Pa., said. “I think it’s been really well-received.
In the long run, you’re going to hear a couple of nice stories. There are
a couple of kids who are definitely developing a strong interest in the
game and will definitely move forward, which is what we’re really hoping
for. I bet you that there are a number of kids in the program who will
absolutely consider playing high school golf.”
Jasmine Reed (above), 12, first participated in First Tee programming at
age 8 when her family resided in Suffolk, Va. The Reeds moved to West
Chester, Pa. and reconnected with The First Tee at Applecross.
“Coming here every Saturday, I’ve learned the nine core values and
how they help throughout your career,” Reed, an eighth grader at Stetson
Middle School, said. “I like making friends here.”
Given the initial success, two additional eight- week classes will take
place at Applecross this summer. In July and August, First Tee program-
ming is expected to begin at White Manor Country Club.
“[The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia] is eight miles wide and a
quarter inch deep. Chester County is kind of on the periphery of our
geographic footprint,” Hyndman said. “It really comes down to finding
someone who is an advocate for The First Tee and can take the ball and
run with it. When you have Scott Yard as our advocate, and Eric MacCluen
excited about it, then all of a sudden it starts to accelerate.”
The First Tee table is set in Chester County. More seats and placemats
to come. m
Yard’s work expands First Tee outreach in Chester County
“It really comes down
to finding someone
who is an advocate for
The First Tee and can
take the ball and run
– Bill Hyndman, V, The First Tee of Greater
Philadelphia’s Executive Director
W. Scott Yard (white pullover) of Whitford Country Club provided the energy and effort in
developing The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s outreach in Chester County.
BY TONY REGINA