Morton Golf Foundation Supports First Tee-Greater Sacramento at Pure Insurance Championship

Morton Golf Foundation was thrilled to support our First Tee of Greater Sacramento Junior Golfers at the PURE Insurance Championship this week. 

Nikki Chindavong,  Hannah Harrison, Ethan Liu, Ellie Sand & Haley Wong were the 5 talented junior golfers from First Tee -Greater Sacramento chosen to play in the PURE Insurance Championship this week. 

The fun began on Tuesday evening at a Pairings Party when they found out which Champions PGA TOUR player they were paired with.  Then it was off to practice rounds on both Pebble Beach Golf Links & Spyglass Hill.  The first day of the tournament was Friday & Ethan Liu & Nikki Chindavong had tee times at Pebble Beach.  One of the most scenic golf courses in the world.

Saturday these juniors play their next round in hopes of being in the Championship foursome on Sunday the final day.

It’s so rewarding to see fans come out to cheer on junior golfers from around the United States.

Check out the fun picture below when Nikki Chindavong was coming off of Hole #3 as Ethen Liu was finishing Hole # 16. The Sacramento cheering section gathered for a group shot with both junior golfers.

Continued good luck to the First Tee – Greater Sacramento junior players on and off the course.   We are all very proud of these young adults as they make contacts & friends this week that they will carry on into their future.


Austin Smotherman Morton Golf Foundation Alumnus Earns PGA Tour Playing Card

What fun watching our past Morton Golf Foundation 2012 College Scholarship Winner play in his 1st PGA TOUR tournament in the Fortinet Championship, Silverado Country Club, Napa, CA on September 16 – 19, 2021.

We all remember on his 13th birthday when he was hitting long drives at The First Tee Bodycraft charity golf tournament at Granite Bay Golf Club.

Another Morton Golf Foundation alumnus, Richie Gibbs was quoted as, “When I, my brother Alex & Austin were little we would play golf at Indian Creek Golf Course in Loomis, CA and pretend that we were on the PGA TOUR. Austin this week was not pretending. He has arrived.

Austin made the cut in his 1st appearance as a PGA TOUR Professional in front of family & friends. He had the biggest cheering crowd that we could see on the course. His wife Jesse of 5 years was there as they now reside in Dallas, TX where Jesse works in the fashion industry.

In 2012, Austin graduated from Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA, and was awarded a Morton Golf Foundation College Scholarship. He was then off to play college golf all 4 years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

When we ask a junior golfer what they want to be when they grow up many of them answer, “On the PGA TOUR”. This proves it can happen.

Let’s continue to cheer Austin on as he continues his PGA TOUR career ahead from all his Sacramento fans!


Great Friends and Competitors – Jack Fidler and Kenny Castro

Jack Fidler and Kenny Castro have been friends and competitors on the First Tee Junior Tour, JTNC, JGANC & volunteers with Morton Golf Foundation for the past 4 years.

Both junior boys are 17 years old.
Both boys come from a long line of golfers in their families.
Both boys have different golf abilities but many times end up shooting the same score.

Kenny has been golfing since he has been 4 1/2 years old.
When he is not playing golf his next love is photography. Kenny recently helped out with a junior photography class this past summer at Jesuit High School where he is now a Junior.

Jack is in his senior year at Lincoln High School where he has played on their golf team all 4 years.
Jack’s interest when he’s not playing golf is theater & acting. In fact, this fall he is practicing for a lead role that will have their Opening Night in November.

As we look into the future we can’t wait to see how these junior leaders will be making their impact in their future.

Can’t wait to write that article.


Morton Golf Foundation Junior Jaden Dumdumaya Ties for 7th Place in State Fair Men’s Championship

Jaden Dumdumaya ties for 7th place in the State Fair Men’s Championship held at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.


On September 6th Jaden played in the State Fair Men’s Championship for the 2nd year as the youngest player.
This year Jaden had a 9:24 tee time in the final foursome & he is up for the challenge. His older brother Vohn age 29, is his Caddie who keeps him focused & his dad Stan is his Coach. Jaden is surrounded by many family & friends along with his Grandparents who try to make every match.

Jaden Dumdumaya, 15, from Fairfield, CA, and a sophomore at De La Salle High School has been a Morton Golf Foundation recipient of the Junior Golf Grant for the past few years.

We have watched Jaden grow through golf on and off the course. When he is not playing golf he volunteers and enjoys helping others.

Continued good luck to Jaden!


Special Honor for Special Olympian Jeremy McCarthy

Jeremy McCarthy of the First Tee California Eagles Group receives Special Olympics Honor

Left to right: Rob Siebers, President Tom Morton, Jeremy McCarthy, Tom Corlett, Kelli Corlett, and Jane Siebers

On Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 Special Olympics of Northern California surprised Jeremy McCarthy and Tom Corlett with an invite to the Special Olympic Games USA in Orlando, FL in June, 2022. The pair has participated in the Northern California Alternate Shot Competition with Special Olympics for the past 10 years.

Jeremy and Tom have a very special bond and have been in each other’s lives for the past 35 years. Jeremy’s mom and Tom’s wife are the closest friends and used to work together.


Jeremy and Tom co-coach one of the groups within the California Eagle Golf Program and have been for the past 11 years. The two make quite a pair and we could not be more happy and proud of them!

Jeremy began his golf career at the age of 6 with lessons from Golf Professional Dick McShane at Haggin Oaks.



Jane Siebers talks about the Morton Golf Foundation on the Hosel Rockets Podcast

In this episode of the Hosel Rockets podcast, Jane Siebers, the executive director of the Morton Golf Foundation, joined Ken Morton Jr. to talk about the Morton Golf Foundation. With over a thousand listeners worldwide, Jane introduced a whole new audience to the mission of the Morton Golf Foundation. You can listen on YouTube or any of the different podcast services below!

https://youtu.be/klXyY4-eOHA

Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | iHeartRadio

Deezer | Overcast | Pocket Casts | TuneIn | Pandora


Tom Morton plays in the 2021 Villara Capital Cup for the Morton Golf Foundation

We are so lucky to have Tom Morton, President of Morton Golf Foundation commit for the second year in a row to play in the 2021 Villara Capital Cup this September 24 – 26, 2021.

This is a 3-day golf tournament as Tom joins 32 other fellow Sacramento business leaders to raise funds for local charities and non-profits. Tom has selected Morton Golf Foundation as his charity of choice and we are off and running raising funds to give back to local youth, disabled and underserved.

Last year Morton Golf Foundation raised $40,000.00 through the Villara Capital Cup. Tom’s goal this year is to exceed $50,000.00. Last year, our claim to fame was when Morton Golf Foundation won the category of having the most individual donors of any other foundation participating in the event! Let’s continue to make this our annual WIN.  

All donations go directly to the Morton Golf Foundation and help Tom win the grand prize on the foundation’s behalf. With every $5,000.00 that Morton Golf Foundation raises in advance, Tom earns a “mulligan” which can only help Tom more toward winning a share of the $100,000.00 grand prize.

Please consider contributing (of any comfortable amount) through the Villara Capital Cup page at:

The last date and time to donate to this event will be on Saturday, September 25th at 5:00 p.m.

Feel free to pass this information on to any and all of your friends. Every day something great happens at Morton Golf Foundation. Each day we create success stories by helping our juniors, disabled and underserved grow.

Join us in making this be our most successful Villara Capital Cup ever. Competition is high and Tom is up for the challenge.


100 HOLES OF GOLF!

Sacramento Junior Golf Marathon
“100 Holes of Golf”
Bing Maloney Golf Course
Executive 9
November 7, 2020

This is Morton Golf Foundation’s 6th year hosting the Sacramento Junior Golf Marathon where each foursome played “100 Holes of Golf”. Several participants included junior golfers that in the past have been winners of our Junior Golf Development Grants. Also, joining them were several juniors that just wanted to join in the fundraising & play in the event. What a powerful way of junior golfers paying it forward.

“Good Day Sacramento”, KMAX-TV Sacramento’s local morning show met 46 junior golfers including their family & friends to do a live interview on air in their 9:00 a.m. hour. Kenny Castro kicked off the interview telling us why he plays in this event even though he has never applied for a Junior Golf Development Grant. Kenny participates because it supports the juniors he plays in tournaments with and builds stronger friendships. Then Nikki Chindavong told us she is very lucky to have received a Junior Golf Development Grant for the past 5 years. This has given her multiple opportunities to play in more golf tournaments & travel outside of our Northern California area.

The fun continued on the golf course where the players had the opportunity to win several prizes. See the picture attached where on Hole #7, Par 3 each foursome teed off at the same time! In between nervous laughter the winner closest to the hole won a sleeve of golf balls.

‘100 HOLES OF GOLF’ 2020

Please continue to help us raise money for this junior fundraiser by donating here: https://mortongolffoundation.org/donations-sponsorships/


How The Morton Golf Foundation Junior Development Grant Gives Local Junior Golfers Access To Critical Funds To Be Able To Play In Tournaments

Rob Siebers calls it the “make a wish for junior golfers.”

It’s the Morton Golf Foundation Junior Golf Development Grant, based out of the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento. Last year, grants in the form of financial assistance were given to 27 juniors in the area, enabling them to play in both local and national tournaments.

Both boys and girls, ages 10 to 18, are eligible to apply for grants, providing them with the necessary assistance to play a competitive tournament schedule throughout Northern California and around the country.

“It is very, very heartwarming to do this,” said Siebers, a Morton Golf Foundation Board member and the MGF Grant Administrator. “We really stress tournament play, because the biggest battle most kids fight in a tournament is nerves. They get nervous – ‘Oh, boy, this person hits the ball further than I do. They’re going to kill me.’

“The more tournaments you play in, the more you become accustomed to it and you’re not quite as jittery. So we like to have them play in a lot of tournaments. But you don’t want to play in it too many tournaments, as you don’t want to burn out.”

Applications for grants can be submitted online and are accepted annually from October 15 to December 31, according to the organization’s website, mortongolffoundation.org. Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 season.

Grants “are only used for the appropriated purpose of reimbursement of expenses,” and grants “will only reimburse expenses that are eligible under USGA and NCAA rules,” the Morton Golf Foundation said.

The online site, mortongolffoundation.org, has information about the process of applying for a grant, details covering eligibility requirements, grant funding, and eligible junior tours. Interviews are scheduled for both eligible applicants and their parents.

The MGF Junior Golf Development Grant is defined as “financial support for families to help their children learn to compete, develop skills, enhance core values and build lasting relationships through the game of golf.”

The credit for starting the Morton Golf Foundation Junior Golf Development Grant goes to Ken Morton, Sr., said Siebers.

Ken Morton, Sr., is a PGA Master Professional and the Chief Executive Officer for Morton Golf LLC. He was inducted into the National PGA Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Northern California Section of the PGA Hall of Fame in 2019. He was named as the National PGA Professional of the Year in 1998 and has been the recipient of the National PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, National PGA Horton Smith Award for PGA Education, and the California Golf Writers Golf Person of the Year Award.

“He doesn’t like to get credit for stuff. But this was his idea,” said Siebers. “Under his guidance, we started this program. It started out small, as we had five kids the first year. And then each year it seemed to double. We’ve raised more money and we’re giving back.

“If you know Ken well enough, he says, ‘We’re going to make this happen.’ And it happened. He doesn’t like his name mentioned. He doesn’t want to take credit. But a lot of good things spring from his mind.

“As far as I’m concerned, he gets the credit.”

Those eligible must be 18 years old or younger and not having entered college.

Additional requirements, according to mortongolffoundation.org:

  • Families must be residents of the greater Sacramento area, defined within a 50-mile radius of Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, located at 3645 Fulton Ave., Sacramento, CA.
  • Families must be “in need” of financial support to participate in junior golf tournaments and activities.
  • A junior golfer must have a history of actively participating in golf.

Each grant is based upon individual needs.

Eligible families are reimbursed, as determined by an “agreed-upon golf plan,” for the following expenses, according to mortongolffoundation.org:

  • Tournament registration fees.
  • Transportation to and from travel tournaments for the junior player only.
  • Lodging and meal costs for the junior player only in travel tournaments.
  • Golf equipment.
  • Golf lessons.

A minimum of 50 percent of each Morton Golf Foundation Junior Golf Development Grant must be spent on junior tournaments.

There are several junior tours that golfers can play in. This includes The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Junior Tour, Sacramento Golf Council Tournaments, Junior Golf Association of Northern California, Junior Tour of Northern California, Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Future Champions World Tour, US Kids Tour, International Junior Golf Tour, U.S. Golf Association and American Junior Golf Association events.

“We put it out to the general public,” said Siebers, a former member at Rancho Murieta Country Club who now plays out of Haggin Oaks. “Families that have junior golfers can fill out an application to receive a grant. The first thing we emphasize is that it’s not a subsidy, but it’s an enhancement.

“We pride ourselves in trying to define what’s the best thing for the kid.”

Last year, organizers of the Morton Golf Foundation Junior Golf Development Grant interviewed 34 applicants.

There are so many lessons that can be learned from playing golf and being around the game, said Siebers.

“Golf is kind of the game of life,” said Siebers. “It teaches you etiquette. It teaches you perseverance, responsibility and fairness. You can tell a lot about a person from how they conduct themselves on a golf course.”

Siebers’ wife, Jane Siebers, is the executive director of the Morton Golf Foundation, which is now in its eighth year.

“Once we give a grant, we don’t forget about them. Jane and I go out and watch the kids playing in the tournaments,” said Rob Siebers, who retired as president of Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc. “We enjoy meeting the families and getting to know the kids.

“We just want to make sure that we’re spending our money where the need is, where the opportunity is, and where the potential is. The one thing we do insist upon, is that if you’re going to buy equipment, that you get professionally fitted (for clubs).”

The interview committee takes time to talk to each of the junior players about “core value” and what extracurricular activities they are involved in, said Siebers.

“What else are you doing besides golf? Because you can’t just do golf,” said Siebers. “You’re a young person. You should be playing other sports or playing in the band or doing drama. You should have more than one interest.

“If you get to be 16, 17 years old, and you’re really interested in golf and trying to get a college scholarship and all that, then you maybe narrow your focus to golf. But as young people, you’ve got to widen and broaden your experience, broaden your activities. It will make you a better athlete, which will make you a better golfer.

“And so, we really strive giving back. We want to see these kids volunteering, whether it’s for us, or for other things. We stress how important giving back to your community is and giving back to the game of golf.”

Cameron Champ of Sacramento, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, was the first recipient of a grant from the Morton Golf Foundation when he was playing junior golf. Champ won the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa in 2019 and is currently No. 77 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Champ got his start in golf at Haggin Oaks, as he was introduced to the game by his grandfather, Mack Ray Champ. Cameron was with the First Tee of Greater Sacramento and as a junior played at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Roseville and Whitney Oaks Golf Course in Rocklin.

Champ is a 2018 graduate of the Korn Ferry Tour and joined the PGA Tour in 2019.

The Morton Golf Foundation, founded in 2010, “funds programs offering a healthy outdoor recreational environment that stresses the building of lasting personal relationships while seamlessly instilling life’s core values for the youth, disabled, and under-served communities of Sacramento,” according to mortongolffoundation.org.

“Today, the Morton Golf Foundation is helping better the lives of several kids programs, disabled programs and hundreds of underserved individuals each and every year,” the organization said.

There is an upcoming fundraiser for the Morton Golf Foundation Junior Golf Development Grant. It’s the “Kids’ 100 holes of golf fundraiser,” a team event that is scheduled for Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m., at Bing Maloney Golf Course’s Express 9 in Sacramento. It’s a nine-hole executive course.

“We want the kids to get together and have fun,” said Rob Siebers. “The tournament has really two purposes. It’s an opportunity for all the families in the Morton Golf Foundation to get together and talk. The other is an opportunity for the kids to go out and raise money and give back to their own cause. It’s a way for these kids to raise money and give back to golf, because we take that money and then we spend it back on the kids in the form of grants.” For more information, contact Rob Siebers, MGF Grant Administrator, at rjjsiebers@gmail.com; or go to www.MortonGolfFoundation.org; or contact Morton Golf Foundation at 3645 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento, CA, or at (916) 808-0969.

Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, 2019, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016.


2nd Annual “Capital Golf Challenge” Supporting The Morton Golf Foundation Held At William Land Golf Course!

Under the beautiful Sacramento sunny sky on Friday, 9/25/2020 the 2nd Annual Capital Golf Challenge was held at William Land Golf Course.

There were 8 City Elected Officials wearing orange playing a 2-person golf match between 8 County Elected Officials wearing green.

Competition was high spirited, the golf with interesting, and a great time was had by all!

The winning team again this year was the City Team.

The City of Sacramento TEAM name was added to the perpetual trophy that can be seen at City Hall.

CITY TEAM

  • Mayor Darrell Steinberg
  • Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
  • Councilmember Rob Fong, Ret.
  • Councilmember Eric Guerra
  • Councilmember Lauren Hammond, Ret.
  • Councilmember Rick Jennings
  • Councilmember Jay Schenirer
  • Councilmember Steve Cohn, Ret.

COUNTY TEAM

  • Supervisor Patrick Kennedy
  • Supervisor Sue Frost
  • SMUD Board Director Gregg Fishman
  • SMUD Board Director Nancy Bui-Thompson
  • SCOE, Brian Cooley, Ret.
  • SJUSD, Richard Launey, Ret.
  • Elk Grove Councilmember Stephanie Nguyen
  • Sac City School Boardmember Darrell Woo

The dollars raised for the past 2 years go toward the construction of a Life and Golf Skills Academy at Hiram Johnson High School. The Community Services Project funds raised will be

Used for the construction project installing Phase 1 of the Stadium Concept which will benefit all students in the Hiram Johnson neighborhood. The Hiram Johnson community will have the opportunity to participate not only in after school golf programs but also throughout the summer months.

The goal is to start construction on Phase 1 in early 2021.

Please take a moment and watch the video at https://youtu.be/OxR4uStkpSE

The 2021 dates secured for next year’s annual fundraiser to help maintain and staff the facility will be on Friday, August 20th at William Land Golf Course.

Hope to see you there!