Meet Teal Thron, Director of Chapter Relationships for First Tee

Teal has been involved with First Tee in various capacities over the course of her career. In 2020, she accepted the Executive Director position for The First Tee Coachella Valley, and in June of 2023, she accepted a role with First Tee Headquarters to oversee 26 chapters of First Tee in small and midsized markets west of the Mississippi River. First Tee is a youth development organization that enables kids to build strength of character by seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, and active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do.

We chatted recently with Teal about how she got started in golf and what inspired her to make it her career. 

Q1: What in your background helped lead you to ultimately specialize in golf and golf leadership? 

I have played golf since the age of three and I have played competitive golf since the age of seven.  It’s in my blood and I have a passion for playing and teaching the game to others. 

Q2: What attracted you to First Tee

First Tee immediately drew me in with its character education curriculum through the game of golf.  Teaching young people life lessons on and off the golf course is very fulfilling and drives me to do my best for them.

Q3: What are some challenges you face in this work, and the game of golf in general, and how do you overcome them? 

Challenges are a part of life and everyday we have new ones to overcome.  The key is to work harder when things are tough and when things are easy be grateful for all that is coming to you.

Q4: Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

The kids and teens of First Tee motivate me. I am constantly learning from their resilience and winning attitudes.

Q5: What was the highlight of your season so far this year? 

The highlight of my year was seeing a participant who started in First Tee as very introverted and lacking confidence, just three years ago, blossom into an eloquent and poised speaker at the First Tee – Coachella Valley tournament dinner.  These changes are slow and cumulative, but when you haven’t seen a participant in a couple of months and suddenly, they are a different version of themselves, you know you are doing great things to help young people obtain the tools they need to succeed

Q6: You are no doubt a role model for many. Any tips for finding a work / life balance? 

Work hard/play hard 😉

Meaning…take the time you need to recharge your battery and you will be a better version of yourself for everything else. I used to feel so guilty about taking time for myself.  Now I realize, it is the only way to be truly happy and at peace.  

Q7: Who are your role models? 

Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, and of course, my Mom and Dad.

Q8: What trends are you noticing in golfwear, specifically women's golf fashion?

I am so impressed with the fashionable clothes the market has to offer women today.  When I played as a junior I wore my dads old golf shirts. There were very few options in the 80’s and 90’s.  I do wish more of the LPGA players wore cuter, brighter clothes, like Amy Sport...I think a lot of what is on tour is a bit boring and unflattering. My idol as a child was Michelle McGann…I would love for a player on the LPGA to become a fashionista like her! 

Q9: Do you have a favorite golf course to play?

I grew up on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills CC…that will forever be my favorite course.

Q10: What innovations or changes do you foresee in the future of golf tournaments? What role do you see technology playing in the future of golf organization? 

This question is so big.  I will have to think about it and get back to you 😉


Q11: Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom in general for women in leadership roles? 

I think it is interesting that when I enter a room it is not always assumed that I am a golfer.  It is such an integral part of my identity and I always assume that it is written across my forehead. In general, I think it is assumed that most men in business play golf at some level.  I believe this should be the norm for women as well…if you have played golf, then you are a golfer.  Women sometimes think they must be good at a sport or hobby before they are allowed to claim it and men claim sports as their own regardless of their abilities.  All women business professionals should learn the basics of the game so that they never miss out on the opportunity to connect and have a wonderful day on the course with their colleagues and clients.  And that way the next time there is a spot in a company foursome, the female executives are on the list to be asked! 

Thank you to Teal for being such a great supporter of Amy Sport, women and kids golf.

Keep an eye on her, she is going places!!

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