Junior golfer blogs about her Pebble Beach experience

August 29, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

Elizabeth Kresock, a 17-year-old from The First Tee of Denver, is participating in the Walmart First Tee Open for the second year. The 5-handicap golfer began playing at age 10 and has volunteered with The First Tee for five years and been a member for four years. She will share her experiences from each round of this week's event. Friday, Aug. 29 - 11:00 a.m. PT

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- I'm playing with Mark Wiebe, who's also from Denver, so I'm really excited. We met for the first time at the "Legends and Leaders" dinner on Wednesday night, where I also met Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Fred Funk, Loren Roberts and Gary McCord. Everyone was so nice and genuinely happy to be here.

Elizabeth Kresoch.jpg

At the dinner we had nine different people speak on the nine core values. The last person, Mr. Nevins, lost both legs in Iraq. It was a really emotional experience, especially to hear how other people outside the golf world were able to persevere. The food was awesome! Kraft provided it for us and the dinner took place at the Pebble Beach Tennis Club, where we had gorgeous views of the sixth hole at Pebble Beach and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Last night, One Republic put on a concert on the 18th green. I know all of their songs by heart so I was able to sing along. I think it was really fun for everyone. Last year, I played in the Coca-Cola Challenge on Thursday but this year Aaron Guereca, the other person here from my First Tee chapter, played instead. That was really cool.

My favorite part of the week so far, though, has been reconnecting with all of the girls that I met in the qualifier. Earlier this year we all went to Rye, N.H., to play at Wentworth by the Sea Country Club, which was an amazing facility. We had a ton of fun -- all of the girls stayed with house mothers and some of the house mothers even made the trip out here to see us play. The boys were in Kansas while we were in New Hampshire, so it's been cool to meet them along with the pros, the amateurs and the tournament staff. It's unbelievable how much work goes into an event like this.

This is Mark Wiebe's first year playing but I know he won the first Champions Tour event he was eligible for last year, which was really cool. Last year at this event, I played with Craig Stadler. He's definitely a gentleman. His golf game is so much different than mine. He can hit the ball so far. He relies on his long game, while I rely on my short game but that's one of the things that's cool about this tournament. We get a chance to see the different types of play.

My dad is here along with two people from our First Tee chapter. One is caddying for me and another is caddying for Aaron. I started out as a volunteer for The First Tee in 2004 but soon decided that I wanted to become a member because of what they are doing by teaching these values and instilling them in youth.

I'm a senior in high school. I only went to the first day of school this year before leaving to come here! Luckily my teachers were all really supportive. I told them all about The First Tee and their values and they all understood. I'd love to play golf in college next year but, more importantly, I want to keep volunteering for The First Tee when I'm in college. Hopefully I'll go to a place where there's a First Tee chapter nearby.

I'm lucky enough to go to a college prep school and I do have a lot of friends there. One thing I do notice that is very unfortunate is that a lot of kids at school take things for granted. When I go to The First Tee, I'm able to see a difference in maturity levels. Everyone at our First Tee chapter benefits from the nine core values we are able to teach. I really see a difference in youth at The First Tee and youth outside of The First Tee.

I'm playing at Del Monte today and have to go for my tee time. I'll check back in tomorrow!