We’re taking dead aim at building a learning center for kids, teens, and the community.
Since 1999, First Tee – Greater Austin has impacted 50,000+ area kids & teens through our year-round programs and affordable public golf facility in East Austin. Our facility - Harvey Penick Golf Campus - has been a community hub since it opened in 2005. It is home to one of the most affordable public practice facilities in the state of Texas.
As we look to 2022 and beyond, we’re taking dead aim at growing our impact and meeting the needs of our growing community. Our program numbers are growing EXPONENTIALLY. We need an indoor space that will provide dependability and stability for our families and allow us to take our life coaching practices indoors. This building will take our community impact to new heights. This space will allow us to grow to meet the needs of our record number of participants and welcome more in years to come.
A weatherproof, community-oriented space is what area families need.
Our parents consistently tell us that they need a secure place for their children when they are not in school. They need this place to be available even when it rains, or conditions aren’t conducive to outdoor play. Their families rely on FTGA for child care support and affordable educational offerings.
Our vision is to build a learning center that will be reliably open and available—a community hub for further youth development and mentorship. In addition, we would like to leverage the Harvey Penick Golf Campus as a viable event space—a rare commodity in East Austin. This will help make our non-profit organization more self-sufficient.
Features of the new facility
Kids Technology Lab * Kids Clubhouse * Quiet Study Rooms * Classroom Space * Multi-use Space * Board Room and Offices * Golf Simulators * Indoor/Outdoor Hitting Bays * Pro Shop * Snack Bar * Catering Areas * Patio and Outdoor Deck * Fitness Room
Learn more about these features in our catalog HERE
Floor plans and more 3-D renderings
We’ve been hard at work with FGM Architects conceptualizing this versatile space. We’re also running parallel tracks with fundraising and permitting to ensure this building can come to life as soon as possible. Take a look inside the building and at the floor plans HERE.
Our capital campaign has three focus areas:
1) Our Learning Center
2) Our Home: Harvey Penick Golf Campus
3) FTGA Programs
Any and all gifts will make a difference. Naming opportunities are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To request our all-opportunities catalog, please reach out to [email protected].
Want to learn more or give to the Capital Campaign?
Jennifer MacCurrach | Executive Director
[email protected] | 512-732-0380 x206
Where will this new building be located?
At the current home of FTGA: Harvey Penick Golf Campus. The property is located in East Austin, on the Eastside frontage road of Highway 183. This segment of the new 183 south project sees more than 60,000 cars and trucks daily. This location is easily accessible for our students who hail from every corner of Austin and its surrounding suburbs.
What is the fundraising goal for the project?
As of April 2022, we’ve garnered $4.2M in pledges. The goal is $15M.
We’ve consulted experts in construction and they’ve identified $12M as the number to reach to achieve our learning center vision amidst rising material costs and inflation. We’re hard at work developing a fundraising plan to support that effort.
When is the target date for breaking ground?
ASAP! When we move forward is contingent on fundraising. We are already working parallel tracks with fundraising and bank lenders.
Why pursue a learning center now?
Our program and community is growing exponentially! An indoor facility would further meet the needs of our students and their families. We continue to anticipate enormous changes in our community. In the last 20 years our area’s population has exploded and we responded by adding seven area golf facilities and 14 Parks & Recreation sites with plans to add even more. It is clear, however, that additional outdoor venues for golf will only attend to a portion of what our young people and their families need from us. Our parents consistently tell us that they need a secure place for their child when they are not in school and they need it to be reliably available even when it rains, or conditions aren’t conducive to outdoor play.
Where does FTGA stand with permitting?
The wheels are already in motion! We have a site permit submitted to the city of Austin. We’re working on parallel tracks with permitting and fundraising.
What are the benefits of sponsorship?
Specific activations and benefits depend on the area/opportunity but all capital campaign sponsors will be associated with driving education and a safe space for kids in Austin. All donors will be recognized throughout the learning center.
FTGA aims to foster a mutually beneficial relationship with its donors so any given sponsorship benefits can be modified to meet the wishes of both parties!
What is the length of sponsorship?
For most areas, support now means support for the long haul. For most areas, it’s a lifetime sponsorship. Most sponsorships don’t expire or require renewal. We’re looking to partner with community members, foundations and entities that want to give area kids a safe place to learn for the long haul.
How flexible is the gifting time frame for a donor?
Many donors are choosing to spread out their gift over a 1-5 year period. FTGA works closely with each donor to create an individualized gifting timeline.
Can multiple people “team up” to sponsor an opportunity together?
Yes – donors can “split” a specific naming sponsorship together. FTGA encourages donors to connect with friends about opportunities and find the best commitment for you! Ultimately, a gift of any size will go a long way in our campaign.
What about building security?
The building and other facility upgrades will be designed with security and function in mind; parts of the space can be siphoned off and areas opened or closed to meet the usage needs of any given day. FTGA aims to partner with area subject matter experts in technology, security, education, food, and more to make this happen.
How will the community benefit from this new learning center?
Beyond its primary use as a classroom and safe space for area kids and teens, this new East Austin building will also serve as a community hub in a lot of ways. Areas of the building will be available for rent. These areas include: the multi-purpose hall, the founder’s board room, tech lab, indoor and outdoor hitting bays, a fitness center, snack bar and more!
These rentals will not only provide the community a safe, affordable space to meet for events but also help FTGA’s self-sufficiency as an organization. Donors to our campaign will have access to these rentals at discounted rental rates.
Does the scope of the campaign go beyond the learning center?
Yes! There are numerous sponsorship opportunities for Harvey Penick Golf Campus and our programs. Help in these areas would take our facility and program offerings to new heights.
Program support also allows FTGA to provide need-based scholarships and to keep costs low for all families.
Much like the learning center sponsorships, many of these opportunities are for the long haul.
All sponsors will receive recognition within the learning center and would have a positive impact on our operations on campus.
What are the current golf amenities at Harvey Penick Golf Campus?
The 112-acre campus features a 9-hole PGA-TOUR designed golf course and one of the best, most affordable public practice facilities in central Texas. It is home to one of the few all grass driving ranges in Central Texas. The driving range features a two-tiered tee with over 200 yards of manicured turf. Practice amenities also include a putting green and several chipping greens.
There are two courses on site: a par 30, 9-hole course and a 3-hole short adjacent to the future learning center space. The 9-hole course is an easy two-mile walk and is usually played in 1½ hours. The course is fun for beginners and challenging for accomplished players. HPGC has four sets of tees to accommodate all players. The 3-hole short course is the outside home to many of FTGA classes and camps. Its layout enables instructors to easily set up stations where students rotate through and work on all facets of the game from putting to chipping to hitting.
See how our capital campaign will improve our campus here.
Do many First Tee chapters have their own facility?
Less than 10% of First Tee chapters nationwide have their own facility and many of these chapters do not own and operate a golf course.
How long has the Austin chapter of First Tee been around?
The Austin chapter of First Tee began in 1999 and has since positively impacted the lives of 50,000+ area kids and teens. We empower kids and teens through golf and work diligently to equip them for their future beyond the game. Through our programs, young people develop inner strengths they’ll carry with them everywhere and draw on to navigate life’s ups and downs. Programs are open to youth ages 5 – 17. Equipment is provided free of charge to those who need it and students are able to use our facilities for free.
The world has changed a lot since our chapter laid down its roots in 1999. The last several years have been an especially powerful reminder of the importance of resilience and adaptability. Kids today are growing in new environments that are demanding more from them and, therefore, more from us. From refreshing the curriculum, leveraging new technology, and reinvesting in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, we are in the midst of a multi-year re-investment to modernize and enhance the organization.
Our facility is a big piece of this puzzle. Here in Austin, we’ve owned and operated a golf facility since 2005. We continue to leverage our facility (as is) to the fullest for our year round programs and events; however, we see some gaps in our capabilities because we don’t have an indoor space. Weather threatens the reliability of our offerings and certain technologies are difficult to incorporate outside. The list goes on.
Does First Tee – Greater Austin have more than one location?
Some of our programs and after-school offerings are held at satellite sites all over the Austin metro area; however, the majority of our programs take place at Harvey Penick Golf Campus.