For Immediate Release


Tom Cunningham, (602) 944-6168

Drew Wathey, (602) 482-2738


Players From the First Tee of Phoenix Also Participating in Storied Event

PHOENIX, Arizona (March 21, 2007) – Overcoming the odds of racial discrimination enabled the Phoenix-based Desert Mashie organization to develop and prosper into perhaps the leading minority golf organization in America. For nearly 60 years, the Desert Mashie Spring Championship has showcased the talents of minority golfers throughout Arizona. And, when the Junior Golf Association of Arizona forged a relationship with the event in 1990, the level of competition soared.

Featuring 130 junior golfers, the 2007 Desert Mashie Spring Championship will be played on March 26-27 at Encanto Golf Course, the very same golf course that spawned the group’s beginnings back in 1946. The founding fathers of the Desert Mashies were Dr. Thomas A. Crump, Aubrey C. Aldridge, Earl Le Near, Earnest S. Bartlett, Dr. Lowell C. Wormley, Curtis “Dock” Earl, William Robbie” Robinson, Ray Mercado and Densil Perdue.

In 1998, Golf Digest named the Desert Mashies as its Junior Development Award winner for its commitment to minority youths being introduced to the sport. “The Desert Mashies have had a profound impact on the level of exposure of the game of golf to minority kids throughout Arizona,” said Tom Cunningham, Executive Director of the JGAA. “For the past 16 years, the JGAA has benefited greatly from our involvement with them and their tournament which provides all junior golfers throughout the state a highly competitive event in which they can hone their skills.”

This year, 13 junior golfers from the First Tee of Phoenix will also be participating in the Desert Mashie Spring Championship.

The First Tee of Phoenix was created for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in the Phoenix area from all walks of life - particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play. “The First Tee was designed to serve as a place for our junior participants to learn valuable life skills and character lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf, said Hugh Smith, Executive Director of The First Tee of Phoenix.

Currently, there are 2,100 youngsters with The First Tee of Phoenix playing regularly at their two Valley facilities: The First Tee of Phoenix at South Mountain and Desert Mirage golf course in Glendale. “We are so thankful to the JGAA this year to provide an opportunity for some of our better junior players to tee it up in this great golf tournament. While we conduct tournaments every month, this is a marvelous event for our players to perform against some of the state’s top juniors. What a great learning experience for them,” added Smith, winner of the 12th annual National Minority College Golf Championship in 1998.

For more information on the 2007 Desert Mashies Spring Championship, visit the JGAA website at or call their office at (602) 944-6168.

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