Carolinas PGA Awards REACH Retired Professional of the Year to Tom Rader

February 21, 2024 | Press Release

Charleston, SC–Longtime Wescott Golf Club volunteer and beloved First Tee Coach Tom Rader has been named REACH Retired Professional of the Year by the Carolinas PGA.

This distinguished honor recognizes retired professionals who have given back to the game in extraordinary ways by supporting the three pillars of the PGA REACH Foundation—youth, military, and diversity.

Rader, who helps administer First Tee – Greater Charleston’s On-Course Golf & Life Skills Program at Wescott, has introduced hundreds of children to the game of golf and core value curriculum. The benefits of that work extend well-beyond the course, and Rader was recognized for his efforts as First Tee’s Volunteer of the Year in 2015. His faithfulness to the mission of positively impacting the lives of young people is as strong as ever nearly 10 years later.

“Coach Tom was one of our very first volunteers and has been with us for 15+ years,” says First Tee Program Director Meghan Taylor. “We are so grateful for him!”

Rader is also a long-time volunteer for two adaptive golf therapy initiatives at Wescott, PGA HOPE events for veterans/active duty military and the HERO Program for first responders.

Most would consider Rader an installation at Wescott. You can find him several days a week with Ziggy, Wescott’s unofficial mascot, in tow. The pair bring a smile to everyone they meet. And when they aren’t on the golf course, they’re making friends through ATD (Alliance of Therapy Dogs). Favorite ATD volunteer appearances include dog therapy days at local colleges during exam weeks.  

About First Tee – Greater Charleston

Established in 2008, First Tee – Greater Charleston serves young people, ages 5-18, from all walks of life. The 501(c)3 offers on-course, in-school, and community outreach programs that teach life-enhancing values and interpersonal skills through the game of golf. The organization reaches thousands of children each year in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties–19,869 young people in 2023 alone.

PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation

The PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and philanthropic arm of the Carolinas PGA Section, the largest of the 41 sections in the United States of America. Carolinas members across North and South Carolina are committed to serving local communities and growing the game of golf through three pillars–Youth, Military, and Diversity/Inclusion.