The More You Play Golf, the More it Pays Off  - Youth on Course

The More You Play Golf, the More it Pays Off 

One of the best things about a Youth on Course Membership is the accessibility to affordable rounds it offers members.  Anh-Dao Do, a YOC alum and scholarship recipient knows this well, as the $5 rounds YOC offered her opened up doors to improve her game AND fund her college education! This Kansas City, Kansas native graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas, helped by the YOC Tom and Sue Terrill Scholarship. But that’s not the end of Anh Dao’s golf or education story. Anh-Dao is currently pursuing an MBA and medical degree, and is grateful for the $125,000 Evan’s Scholar Scholarship to help fund her studies.  Anh-Dao’s story is one that will inspire many.

Early Beginnings in Golf

Anh-Dao discovered golf at an LPGA-girl scout cross event when she was eight years old. At the time, Ahn-Dao had dabbled in other sports – soccer, figure skating, and basketball – but Anh-Dao’s mom encouraged her to pursue golf, telling her that the sport would allow her to “demonstrate her own abilities as an athlete.” 

At first, Anh-Dao didn’t exactly love golf – she was frustrated because she knew she was a beginner and not very good at it. She’d get upset when she shanked a shot or missed a putt. But things changed when Anh-Dao was introduced to the First Tee’s Nine Core Values. Over time, those values started to make sense to Anh-Dao, the most significant one being perseverance. She worked hard, and went from shooting over 100 in middle school to making the high school golf team and going to state three years in a row. 

Youth on Course – The Game Changer that Helped Anh-Dao Go the Distance in High School

In addition to promoting the Nine Core values, First Tee also had a significant impact in Anh-Dao’s life as it introduced her to Youth on Course (YOC), which she joined YOC in 2014. Since distance and finances prohibited Anh-Dao from traveling the 40-50 minutes to First Tee lessons or its mentoring program, YOC turned out to be the answer to her dilemma. Anh-Dao explains, “The Youth on Course membership “pay-to-play for $5” was a game changer. YOC helped me play golf for a reasonable fee and play at selected golf courses near me. I know that YOC’s mission was to enable more accessibility to the game of golf, and that changed my life and my game. Being able to afford the fee to play a full 18 holes on a regulation golf course helped improve my game tremendously. Since I was on the golf team, I would find time to play different courses so I could prepare for any type of situation that I might face in a tournament.”

Anh-Dao now appreciates how YOC can help future generations of potential young golfers. “YOC enables more accessibility to golf by providing young golfers with access to selected golf courses across the nation where young golfers are able to play at an affordable price (of $5). In addition, YOC has a caddie program and offers scholarships to members. I wasn’t  part of the YOC caddie program, but from my experience as a caddie, I know that it opens the door to several opportunities, especially applying for the Evans Scholarship.”

Youth on Course – Connections and Opportunities

Anh-Dao was impressed with the many connections that YOC members can make through membership. She notes, “I joined the YOC network for more affordable access to golf courses. However, after receiving the YOC scholarship, I did meet several YOC staff and the donors of my own scholarship.”

Advice for Parents Considering YOC

Anh-Dao can’t say enough about the opportunities that YOC provides children and parents. She highly encourages YOC for young golfers, “For parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds, YOC is a phenomenal non-profit organization that encourages young golfers to seek out numerous opportunities, such as playing from its 1800 partnered golf courses, paid high school internships, college scholarships and their caddie program. YOC  allowed  me to enhance my golf game with affordable access to nearby golf courses and graduate debt-free as a YOC Scholarship recipient in 2019.” 

Secrets to Success and Opportunities

Anh-Dao’s remarkable success has not come without hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude.  Throughout her schooling and in her work as a caddie, she’s always tried to make a good impression, regardless of the situation. With this in mind, Anh-Dao has sage advice for young golfers looking for opportunities. “When it comes to building your career or your passions, know what you want to do and why you strive for it. When I caddied, I initially took it with the mindset to earn simple cash, but then I continued to caddie through summer-winter seasons to qualify for the Evans Scholarship. As a student, I strive not to just maintain my GPA, but also build a foundation for myself where I can hone my skills and demonstrate my leadership abilities. As an Evans Scholar, it was my goal to lend a hand to caddies who aspire to be an Evans Scholar and to lead those within my scholarship house.”

A World of Opportunities, Thanks to Golf

Anh-Dao is grateful for the many opportunities she’s been exposed to through golf. What has helped the most? “Networking. The world of golf creates an environment for vast networking amongst several connections to the professional world and to several non-profit organizations like Youth On Course.  My golf story is a continuous path of new connections to different organizations that have changed my life.”

Medical School and Beyond

Anh-Dao has a busy few years ahead of her, and is excited for a future in medicine. “I aspire to become a plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgeries. I had an amazing job shadowing experience with a plastic surgeon operating on a breast cancer patient, and after years of working in cancer research labs, I have a goal to help cancer patients. As far as golf goes, I occasionally play golf whenever I can fit into my schedule. Later down the road, I hope to get a country club membership so I can play and support the caddie program, that way future caddies will get to experience the opportunities I had with Youth on Course and the Evans Scholarship.” 

Anh-Dao is so glad she pursued YOC and refers to the Ken Petti quote as a personal mantra – “a chance not taken is an opportunity missed.”  She encourages all interested young golfers to look into YOC and take advantage of the many opportunities a YOC membership offers.