Drew Bindl wins visit to the Masters

First Tee – South Central Wisconsin is fortunate enough to have a board member, Carol Vander Sluis, who has tickets to the Masters Tournament and has a junior pass to let one of our participants attend. Every year, we have a Masters Award application – applicants need to be 12-16 years old and have participated in our program for at least a year. The application includes questions like how they’ve been involved with our chapter, how First Tee has made a difference in their life, and how the applicant uses the core values. Drew Bindl was the winner of the 2024 Masters Award and got to attend the tournament this year. Below is an article written by Drew about his trip.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Masters this year thanks to Mrs. Vander Sluis and First Tee – South Central Wisconsin. Mrs. Vander Sluis and her family donate this amazing opportunity to the First Tee each year to give a participant an experience of a lifetime. I was looking forward to applying for this opportunity for the past few years and have been very eager to visit Augusta National if given the chance.

The Masters is such a historic tournament, and it was awe inspiring to see the course and players. Early in the morning, Mrs. Vander Sluis connected us with a member of Augusta National who talked to us about some of the history of the course and the tournament. He explained how the tournament is put together every year and how the members are the ones who run the event. There is so much history with The Masters and the course, and it was so amazing to just be on the grounds and see places that I had seen on TV and replays before.

Drew Bindl at the 2024 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia

Not only was it amazing to see all the players in person, but it was also interesting to see how pristine the course was too. I was impressed at some of the procedures for keeping the course in the most perfect condition that they can, from repairing and cleaning every tee box to dusting the sand off the greens after a bunker shot. I was also surprised at how close we could get to the players in certain spots, and I heard some of the player-caddy conversations. The day I was there, the course was playing very hard because of the wind, so I heard some thoughts between the players and caddies which were similar and different to the things I’ve learned through First Tee and throughout my youth golf career.

            I am forever grateful that I was able to visit The Masters this year. First Tee has so many great opportunities available and they do a great job of growing the game through encouraging young golfers. I’ve been a part of First Tee for a long time, and I have learned and gained a lot through my involvement. I’m happy that I met Mrs. Vander Sluis and learned about what she does for this organization. It means a lot for First Tee that she is able to provide this experience. First Tee can have so many different, positive impacts on your life, beyond just learning the game. I definitely recommend that everyone in First Tee apply for this opportunity and have a chance at this amazing experience.