Local golf professional helps kids tee-off

By Josh Martin

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Local children took part Tuesday in the First Tee Junior Golf program's event at Horace Mann Elementary.

With the help of volunteers and golf pro Esteban Toledo, First Tee helped 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.

"It's our job as players to go out and have fun the kids. The most important thing is to have fun with them. Let them know what their dreams are" Toledo said. "Because if they don't have goals and dreams, who is going to teach them? That's the PGA Tour. That's the Champions tour. That's what we are here for."

First Tee helps children develop values such as honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, and responsibility. The Dick's Sporting Goods Open has generously dedicated $5,000 in annual support for the program.

Toledo knows how important it is to have positive role models and hopes to pass the life lessons he has learned to the younger generations.

"What I am teaching them is to not give up, to have goals and dreams in your life and a lot of discipline. And this is fun for me to teach them," said Toledo.

In the fall, the Binghamton First Tee Program will shift to physical education classes at all seven Binghamton City School District elementary schools, impacting more than 2,000 children in grades K-5.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Open, held locally at En-Joie Golf Club, will take place this Friday to Sunday. Toledo will be competing in that tournament.