First Tee Utah Scholarship Program

Tim Howells and Denise Vilven present Kayla Long with the inaugural First Tee Utah higher education scholarship

About the First Tee Utah Scholarship Program

We are excited to offer higher education scholarships to committed First Tee Utah kids who are ready to move on in their lives and become the successful adults we have been working to help them become. 

Utah First Tee kids who have shown a commitment to learning and living the First Tee Key Commitments and need help in pursuing their higher education goals are eligible to apply. We will offer a $2,500 scholarship to a First Tee Utah girl and a First Tee Utah boy each year. These can be used at an accredited institution of higher learning, in Utah or elsewhere. 

In order to qualify, applicants must have at least two years of First Tee activity and a recommendation from a First Tee coach. Applications can be downloaded here. Completed applications should be submitted to Paul Pugmire at [email protected].

We are deeply grateful to the leaders and generous donors who have been instrumental in establishing this scholarship program. In particular, we wish to honor and thank Tim Howells, Jerry Howells and Denise Vilven. The boys scholarship is presented and named in honor of Tim Howells and Jerry Howells. The girls scholarship is presented and named in honor of Denise Vilven and her late husband, Utah Golf Hall of Fame member and PGA Professional Doug Vilven.

Excerpts from Kayla’s scholarship acceptance speech at the First Tee Gala

I’d like to thank The First Tee of Utah for selecting me as the first recipient of their new College scholarship.

(The First Tee) has made a huge impact on me and my life everywhere I go such as at home, in school, and at work. I didn’t just learn how to golf, I learned extremely valuable and important life lessons, such as the 9 core values. To this day, especially in college, I utilize those values and the problem solving strategies I was taught in my everyday life. I will be forever grateful to the many amazing things this program has taught me about golf and life outside of golf.

I graduated spring of 2022 as a proud Titan from Olympus High School. I saw so many students, including myself, feeling scared, and stressed at the thought of how they were going to afford a college education.

The First Tee scholarship helped relieve my worries about tuition in great amounts, and due to that, I can fully focus on thriving in my classes without as much worry about how I was going to afford them. 

This program has done so many great things for me throughout my childhood, and continues to offer me great opportunities such as this scholarship, which has been possible because of your generous support. This opportunity has made a great difference for me, and it will make a difference for future recipients. I am truly excited to see this scholarship progress, and make a positive impact on the lives of kids receiving it in the years to come.