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Buzz, The Update

Tee Up: The First Tee of Fort Worth | 2017 Dean & DeLuca Invitational


Photos / The First Tee of Fort Worth

One of our favorite aspects of the Dean & DeLuca Invitational has almost nothing to do with golf. Oh, sure, the kids who participate in youth clinic or Caddie Day, run the short-game area or participate as reporters are in it for the golf. But to the longtime volunteer leader and past chair of the tournament held at the Colonial Country Club, Harold Muckleroy, it’s all about the number nine — and, no, not the front or back nine. Nine happens to be the number of Core Values expressed by the PGA’s national The First Tee organization, founded in 1997: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. “They’re great virtues for anyone to live by,” says Muckleroy, founding partner of Muckleroy & Falls commercial construction company of Fort Worth. The First Tee of Fort Worth launched in 2003.

TFTFW group photo

“Caddie Day was a creation by members of Colonial Country Club in 2005,” Muckleroy says, “and was the very first program of its type on the PGA Tour.” The kids in The First Tee program earn the cherished right to caddie at Colonial by passing all their classroom work, which includes learning the nine Core Values. During practice rounds on the Monday and Wednesday before the tournament, The First Tee kids take over caddie duties at Hole 13, putting on professional caddie bibs and carrying the pros’ clubs. Many times, the bags weigh more than the kids — so they improvise by carrying just one club, often a putter or the club used on the tee box.


As the golf pros became used to Caddie Day, they began to work more with the kids on their grip techniques, or reading putts. A tradition begun in the second year, photos are taken of each First Tee participant and their pro, which are later autographed by the pro and returned to the caddie as a keepsake. Also begun in year two, close-in private parking is arranged for the parents bringing their kids to Caddie Day; a tournament shuttle service whisks them to the closest entry gate. Other opportunities have been created for the Caddie Day kids and their parents, including maintaining the practice chipping green by rounding up golf balls and raking the sand traps and, for the adults, volunteering at the entry gate to scan electronic tickets. The kids of The First Tee have also become very active participants in the Youth Golf Clinic and the Junior Invitational, a three-hole competition between selected members of The First Tee.


This year, on Tuesday, May 23, the organization opened a new facility at a local elementary school, which will serve more than 4,000 low-income kids. The First Tee resonates personally for Muckleroy. “I love golf because of its history, legends and the spirit in which it is played. The player calls fouls on himself. I like the integrity of it. I also want to see the game extend into the future as a way to reach young people.”


To volunteer, donate and learn more about The First Tee of Fort Worth, visit

This content is sponsored by Mary Carolyn Gatzke , Executive Vice President at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty Fort Worth.


Read more “Tee Up” tributes to the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, as seen in the May 2017 issue of 360 West magazine: click here


President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices throughout North Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth Cultural District, Fort Worth-Mira Vista, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land East, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark. To explore the top neighborhoods in North Texas, visit

Buzz, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: A Tribute to Len Nguyen


Len Nguyen is the sort of guy who comes through for you in a pinch – his friendly disposition outshined only by his stealth-like ability to anticipate a golfer’s every need. When tournament time rolls around, Len is the only representative to come in contact with the pros’ bags, and as a valuable behind-the-scenes coordinator, he runs the bag room at the Colonial Country Club with a level of precision the likes of which most golfers rarely see.

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Buzz, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: Like Father, Like Daughter


“I started swinging a golf club when I was 3 years old,” recalls Marty Leonard, whose father, Marvin Leonard, founded Colonial Country Club in 1936. Marvin and Marty were the first father and daughter to be inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, but their close bond went beyond a shared love of the game. “My father was an exceptional man by anyone’s standards, a visionary who could not only look ahead, but could and did complete his visions, both as a businessman and golf course builder,” she says.

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Beauty, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: For My Father


If there is one rule in life for Leigh Crates’ father, Wally Schmuck, it is to play by the rules. “Since he was a boy, he has abided by the rules of golf and the rules of life – adhering to both with equal fortitude,” said Crates.

Whether it is the rules of golf or of life that are in question, Crates has always known exactly whom to turn to for help. “Whenever there was a dispute at my son’s competitive golf tournament, I would call my dad,” she said. “And without missing a beat, he would cite the rule book and explain the proper resolution.”

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Buzz, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: You’ve Earned It


 Mike Rushing, general manager of Colonial Country Club, played his first games of golf in a field across the street from his childhood home. “There were several U.S. Opens won in that field,” Rushing said, laughing.

Recognizing his son’s early love of golf, Rushing’s father wanted to ensure that he understood the value of earning his way to the golf course. “It took a while before I was allowed to play on an actual golf course,” he said. “The first time I saw Pecan Valley, I thought it looked like Augusta National.”

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Buzz, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: The Gift of Education


As a young boy, Ben Hogan would leave school to sell newspapers or caddy to help his single mother put food on their table.

Despite his own difficult circumstances, Hogan placed immense value on the importance of education. The Ben Hogan Foundation honors this legacy through a number of programs, including its longstanding support of First Tee of Fort Worth, a youth development program that teaches life skills and leadership through golf.

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Buzz, The Update

Kudos to the Colonial: Test Your PGA IQ


We know you love the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational at the Colonial Country Club? But how well do know this gem of the PGA Tour?

Lucky for you, we have a way to test your PGA IQ. Enjoy the challenge!

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Read our complete tribute to the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational: click here

President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth Cultural District, Fort Worth-Mira Vista, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land, Ranch and Land West, and The BallparkVisit the Best Neighborhoods Site in DFW.