First Tee

First Tee Introduces Golf and Key Values to Bay Area Kids

Pro golfer and First Tee – Tampa Bay board member Brittany Altomare has been very busy lately.

She represented the United States for the second time as part of the team at the Solheim Cup. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most coveted trophy in women’s professional golf team competition.

Altomare calls it the highlight of her golf career: “Not many people get to represent their country and then be able to wear the stars and stripes and the red, white and blue- it’s an amazing feeling. Golf is so selfish. You’re always playing for yourself but with Solheim you get to a chance to play for more than just you. You’re playing for your country and your teammates. It’s such an incredible experience and the fans – the energy they that they bring… Especially playing on home soil (in Toledo, Ohio) was just amazing. It was incredible.”

Altomare then got on the road for three more tournaments, got married and honeymooned in Italy. Now that she’s back, she says she’s excited to be even more involved with First Tee and get to know the kids a little better.

First Tee is an international youth organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. During school breaks, golf lessons, golf team and summer camp programs, we help shape the lives of young people by teaching and reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. The Tampa Y operates the First Tee – Tampa Bay program, the leading organization for junior golf in Tampa.

“My favorite part of the board meetings is when they bring on a kid that’s part of the First Tee program, hear their story, how it’s impacted their lives and all that stuff,” Altomare says. “The kids are the best and I love hearing their stories. I can’t wait to get more involved, especially in the off-season here in Tampa and when I have time. I’m really excited for that part of it.”

Altomare was introduced to the sport when she was around nine or ten by her dad and grandparents and stayed with it.

“I played a lot of other sports growing up, but then when I got to high school, I realized the only thing I was really good at was golf so I kind of stuck to that,” she says. “It was a lot of fun.”

First Tee has nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. Altomare can think of a tenth one.

“I think for me probably just being adaptable,” Altomare says. “My college coach actually would say this all the time: Golf will throw you curve balls. You hit good shots. You get bad breaks. You get good breaks and I think that relates to life as well. You can do everything right and get bad breaks and you can do everything wrong and get good breaks. It’s life–that’s golf and I think that’s good lessons to learn how you deal with the ups and downs.”

*Presented by the YMCA  | Originally Published in January 2022