About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

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Meet Our Board Chairman

Carl Bartholomew was elected chairman of the board of directors during fall elections in 2015.  Carl works as Vice President, Commercial Lending for First Westroads Bank located here in Omaha.  Carl is an avid golfer and enjoys giving back to the community.

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Helping Young People Grow – A Positive Youth Development Program!

Since it’s inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced over 7.6 million young people to the game of golf and its inherent values through their Life Skills Experience. Through programs taught at golf courses, elementary schools and military installations, the young people are developing character by focusing on Nine Core Values: Honesty,Respect, Integrity, Perseverance, Confidence, Courtesy, Sportsmanship, Responsibility and Judgment. Additionally, The First Tee is addressing the health and wellness of our young people. Through a collaborative effort among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children, The First Tee’s Nine Healthy Habits were created. These healthy habits are a list of nine health and wellness topics presented as a part of The First Tee, formatted for easy understanding and learning by elementary-age students and chapter participants.

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Meet Our Executive Director

Joel Kock serves as our Executive Director. He has been with The First Tee of Omaha since 2013. His background includes 7+ years in the professional golf arena and 10+ years in development and non-profit leadership roles. Joel received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1992. He competed on the mini-tours, becoming a fully exempt member of the 1995 Jordan Tour. Joel is married to his wife Tracey, who is also active in the community delivering family/youth support services. Their son Zachary plays multiple sports and is an active participant in The First Tee programs.

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Steve Hogan Memorial Golf event | signature annual fundraiser!

The board of directors and staff from the Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Foundation organize and host a golf fundraiser every fall. The Steve Hogan Memorial Golf outing is a celebration of Steve Hogan’s legacy and a time for board members, staff, volunteers and donors to recommit to our mission.  Board members pictured in this photo taken from the 2015 event at Shoreline GC with Executive Director Joel Kock include: Sam Addy,  Steve Hogan II, Tom Wilkinson, Carl Bartholomew, Danette Hogan, Jerry Pont, Chris Kelly and Marvin Kellogg.

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Steve Hogan

Steve Hogan started Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes in 1990. Steve was Nebraska’s first African American, PGA of America Professional. He was also the 2004 US Kids Golf nominee for one of “America’s top 50 kids Teachers” and 2003 PGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year. The program Steve started had just two kids and now provides golf training and life skills to hundreds of youth annually through Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Foundation – The First Tee of Omaha. After a long battle with cancer, Steve died in November of 2008. As the program’s founder and passionate advocate for junior golf in the region, Steve is listed as an honorary member of our board.

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Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Foundation

The Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and founding entity of the First Tee of Omaha, chartered by the World Golf Foundation since to 2002 to serve the youth in the greater Omaha area with Golf and Life Skills programming.