Alumni Spotlight: Joey’s Journey with First Tee

Joey Morganti was a First Tee – Greater Philadelphia participant from 2016-2020. Throughout his time in the program, he learned valuable life lessons and found memorable experiences that aided in his personal growth and grew his love for the game of golf. 

Joey’s introduction to First Tee was not just a chance encounter but a familial recommendation. His sister, Gabby, who at the time was a participant and volunteer herself, believed it would be a great way for Joey to delve into the world of golf and learn more about the game. Little did he know that his decision would shape not only his golf skills, but also his character and life path. 

Reflecting on his initial days, Joey admits to being a bit immature, uncertain about his aspirations within the realm of golf. However, First Tee helped guide him through a journey of self-discovery and lead him to new opportunities. 

As Joey progressed through the program, he began to appreciate the broader lessons presented by First Tee. It wasn’t just about mastering the game; it was about learning to navigate the ups and downs of life. Through the program, he discovered a wealth of opportunities that golf presented beyond the course. 

Joey credits the dedicated coaches and employees at First Tee for playing a pivotal role in preparing him for the next level. Their guidance, combined with their own experiences, served as a compass, directing him towards success. 

“Coach Sean, Coach Rocco, and my sister Gabby who is now a First Tee employee were all mentors for me,” Joey said. “They all taught me how to be a good golfer and a better person.” 

Representing First Tee – Greater Philadelphia at the First Tee Champions Challenge in Naples, Fl. alongside Lenny Gibson, and the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach in 2019 left a lasting mark on Joey. These experiences taught him the honor and responsibility that comes with representing something larger than oneself in the otherwise individualistic game of golf. 

As a current collegiate golfer at Temple University, Joey helped the team to victory at the Cornell Invitational in 2021 and recently won the Big 5 Championship after winning a playoff tiebreaker–  both accomplishments that speak to both his individual skill and his ability to contribute to a team. 

Joey’s immediate goals involve continued success with his team in the upcoming spring season. Looking ahead, he envisions remaining active in the golf community, participating in amateur events while pursuing other endeavors. 

“My experiences through First Tee have given me the tools to make the right decisions and then be confident enough to trust those decisions.”

Joey firmly believes that First Tee is relevant for today’s youth, providing a space outside of school where essential life lessons are seamlessly integrated with the game of golf. It’s not just about learning a sport, it’s about shaping character, fostering resilience, and building a strong foundation for a successful future.