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Published on December 26th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


The First Tee of Columbia’s “Dynamic Duo”

Pictured; Michael Chappell, Program Director and Sally McDaniel, Executive Director, The First Tee of Columbia. Photo by Calvin Reese, Millennium Magazine.

The First Tee of Columbia has been around for the last 10 years, but my bet is that a majority of you are unfamiliar with what or where they are. The mission of The First Tee of Columbia is to positively impact the lives of the young people in the Columbia Metropolitan area by providing a safe and inclusive destination where young people are exposed to unique opportunities, character-building activities, and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the Clyburn Golf Center is the home of The First Tee of Columbia.

The Chapter’s current focus is on improving programs offered to our community. To jumpstart this plan, a new Executive Director was hired earlier this year. Sally McDaniel, a former collegiate golfer, joined The First Tee of Columbia Chapter in early October 2014. She has been in the golfing world for most of her life and spent the last two years working in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida at the Executive Women’s Golf Association headquarters. She offers marketing and fundraising experience as well as a strong passion for working with young people. Originally from Charlotte, NC, she is excited to be closer to home and back in what she refers to as “the real south” where the tea is sweet and people aren’t offended when you say “yes ma’am”.

Joining her at the Chapter as the incoming Program Director is Michael Chappell, a hometown favorite. Also a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael is currently a Level II PGA apprentice in the PGA program with goals to complete his training to be a PGA teaching and coaching professional. He is a TPI certified fitness professional and certified TPI junior coach. Michael has volunteered with The First Tee of Columbia for many years and has a unique connection with many of the young people. He’s a familiar face to the youth and parents alike and brings a rooted commitment to both Chapter and community. Together they are a dynamic duo with a driving passion to serve our community.

Sally is currently working with area businesses to secure sponsorships as well as volunteers to help kick off the 2015 season. If you are interested in volunteering, donating equipment or becoming a donor, please contact her a You don’t have to be a PGA professional or even really that good at golf to get involved. All you need is to share the same passion and commitment to the youth in our community. The Spring Session of The First Tee of Columbia will commence in 2015 with a start date of March 18th. Visit the website and click on the yellow register button for more information or to register your participant. The First Tee is open to all children ages 5-17. Scholarship opportunities are available.

There is a lot to be done at The First Tee of Columbia. However, the task is not insurmountable and there is now the right dynamic and team in place to make it happen. Now that you know who they are, expect to hear much more about The First Tee of Columbia in the upcoming year!

About The James Clyburn Golf Center

The James E. Clyburn Golf Center, located at 2091 Slighs Ave., is a full service practice facility with a lighted driving range, covered hitting area, large practice putting green, short game practice green with a bunker and a clubhouse with restroom facilities and meeting space.

Hours of Operation for the James Clyburn Golf Center:

Spring/ Summer:
Monday-Friday: 11am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

Monday-Friday: 10am – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

For more details about our facility and programs, please contact our offices at (803) 255-8920 or e-mail us at

Written by Sally McDaniel


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