Quick 9 with Coach Betty About Volunteering

Coach Betty Palmer pictured with fellow volunteers/Board Members at Champions Cup 2024. Left to right: Phil Tralies, Betty Palmer, Juan Acevedo, Cynthia Hubbard-Schools, Kelly Lyle, and Jim Mackey

April 24, 2024 | Volunteer Spotlight

In 2023, First Tee – Greater Charleston provided character-building golf programs to 19,869 kids. 125 generous volunteer coaches helped make that possible… Volunteers like Betty Palmer. Betty serves on our Board of Directors, helps gather auction items for our annual GOLF&GALA fundraiser, assists with our Champions Cup tournament, coordinates classroom space for our Pathfinder Immersion Program, and serves as a volunteer coach for On-Course Golf & Life Skills classes at Wescott Golf Club.

1. How long have you been a volunteer for First Tee?

I believe this is my 3rd year.

2. What does life outside of First Tee look like?

I began working at Charleston Southern University as the Associate AD for Academics in 2016 and continued in this role until August of 2022.  In August of 2022, I assumed the role of Director of Development for the University.  My husband and I enjoy playing golf every weekend, if the weather cooperates, at our home course, Coosaw Creek Country Club.  We have one daughter who also lives in Charleston.

3. What inspired you to become a volunteer?

I have always been associated with junior golf through the junior programs I experienced as a child. After my college graduation, I went on to be an assistant women’s golf coach at Mississippi State and Georgia prior to taking the head coaching position at the University of Alabama. I also worked with the American Junior Golf Association briefly before taking the Alabama job. Working with junior golfers is essential to the growth of the game, and I appreciate First Tee’s approach to developing interpersonal skills and values.

4. What traits have served you well as a volunteer?

Just having the background of working with so many camps over the years… Having worked junior golf camps at different universities and golf facilities provided me a solid background for working with kids and teaching the game.   

5. What First Tee games or activities do you enjoy most?

ALL OF THEM!  If I had to pick just one it would be the pink Hippo activity.

6. What is your favorite Core Value or Life Skill to teach?

Gratitude and Respect. Gratitude for the opportunity to be outside with friends, old and new, to learn a game that requires respect for the people around you and for the course itself. Experiencing these two values, along with all the other values that are taught, are beneficial to see. They help us understand ourselves and the world around us.

7. Are the kids teaching you anything?

Always learning from the kids. They have no idea how they help adults continue to grow in the game of life.

8. What part of programming do you think is most impactful for the kids?

I volunteer at Wescott so I get to witness the greatness of Coach Perry and Coach Tom each week. They have such a wonderful way about them of explaining the day’s activity, the word of the day, and expressing how fun and enjoyable the game of golf can be. 

9. What part of programming is most impactful for you?

Working with Coach Perry and Coach Tom and seeing the look in a child’s eye when they sink a putt or make a good swing or hit a straight shot. I get a thrill out of hearing the kids talk about how they are going to be a professional golfer one day. They are getting hooked on a game of a lifetime and one that will bring them much happiness.

A huge THANK YOU goes to the many volunteers who make First Tee programming possible, and special thanks to Betty for sharing her experience.

Ready to join Betty on course? Please visit our volunteer page to learn more.