Where Are They Now? Natalie Groom

We were able to catch up with Morton Golf Foundation 2019 College Scholarship Recepient, Natalie Groom to find out what she’s been up to since we last spoke.

How did the College Scholarship help you personally?

It aided me in the past to be debt free so far in my college years. I am now in my Junior Year at Wayne State University in Detroit, Ml


Please let us know how you are doing.

I am doing well. I have had a great college experience playing on the Women’s Golf Team and my academic path to a marketing career.

How have you used the tools from the game of golf in your everyday life?

Golf has taught me many life lessons that keep me going when life presents obstacles.

Are you or have you played golf on a college team? For which college team? If not, are you continuing to play the game recreationally?

This is my 3rd year playing for Wayne State University. I have opportunities to play across the country by being with the team

Are you giving back to your community or looking forward to using your skills for making a difference with others in your future?

My college golf team volunteers in Michigan at the Humane Society. We have a wonderful team camaraderie.

Thank you so much Natalie . We look forward to your continued success.


Where Are They Now? – Ari Samuel

How did the Youth Development Grant help your junior golf development?

The Youth Development Grant helped me to be able to play in more events and grow within the game. I would not have been able to get better and obtain the experience that I did without this grant because my family and I simply could not afford to play in a bunch of tournaments.

How did the College Scholarship help you personally?

The scholarship tremendously helped me get started in school. Receiving various partial scholarships all added up and allowed me to purchase books and cover some of my outstanding fees such as a meal plan.

Please let us know how you are doing.

I am doing great! My team and I won our conference championship last season and I graduate in one semester! I just received honors by making the Dean’s list last semester and after I graduate I plan to attend graduate school.

How have you used the tools from the game of golf in your everyday life?

I have used the tools I have gained from golf in my everyday life because these qualities shaped me into who I am today. The perseverance, patience, and determination I gained from playing golf for all these years have helped me in and out of the classroom by being able to complete deadlines and I will continue to use my leadership and communication skills once I enter the work field.

Are you or have you played golf on a college team? For which college team? If not, are you continuing to play the game recreationally? Please share any special college golf or college experiences with us.

I currently play on the University of West Georgia Women’s golf team and the most special event that took place was definitely receiving our championship ring! We won the championship by one stroke and we were recognized as a team at one of our home football games.

Are you giving back to your community or looking forward to using your skills for making a difference with others in your future?

I definitely am giving back to my community and I plan to continue doing so. I am continuously teaching minority youth about the importance of this game and being living proof of how far the game could take you. I volunteer my time over the summers when I come home to different organizations such as One Swing Golf Academy and Black Child Legacy which both focus on teaching minority youth the basics of the game and providing them with the opportunity to play.

Thank you Ari, for letting us know what you’ve been up to. Congratulations on your Championship!


Where Are They Now? – Katie Harris

We recently spoke with Kattie Harris, one of the Morton Golf Foundation’s Youth Development Grant recipients, about what she’s been up to since we last saw her.

How did the Youth Development Grant help your junior golf development?

The grant gave me a lot of opportunities to decide what I wanted to do after High School

Please let us know how you are doing.

I am now in my Junior year at Portland State on a golf scholarship. Due to COVID I will stay in school for the 5th year and work on my Masters and continue to play on the golf team. I am aiming at a double major in Economics & Political Science with a Minor in Business.

How have you used the tools from the game of golf in your everyday life?

Golf gave me confidence. I would not be the person I am today without golf in my life.

Are you or have you played golf on a college team? For which college team?

Yes. I play on the Women’s Golf Team at Portland State

Are you giving back to your community or looking forward to using your skills for making a difference with others in your future?

In Portland, OR I am teaching junior golf at a local club. I automatically teach First Tee’s 9 core values without thinking because that is how I live my life.

Thank you so much Katie for letting us know what you’ve been up to. We look forward to your continued success.


Where Are They Now? – Thomas Coppola

We are starting a new column here with our Morton Golf Foundation scholarship recipients. First up is Thomas Coppola. Let’s take a look at what he’s been up to:

How did the College Scholarship help you personally?

It helped me afford my textbooks for my first year of college.

Please let us know how you are doing.

I ended up graduating from the University of Idaho with a B.S in business and my full class A PGA status. I am now working in Roseville At GOLFTEC as a personal instructor

How have you used the tools from the game of golf in your everyday life?

Golf is a game of patience and using patience is key in the workforce for dealing with students and other guests.


Are you or have you played golf on a college team? For which college team? If not, are you continuing to play the game recreationally? Please share any special college golf or college experiences with us.

I continue to play golf on most days off. It’s a game that I enjoy playing for fun or competitively with most friends.

Are you giving back to your community or looking forward to using your skills for making a difference with others in your future?

I feel like I’m giving back as being a mentor to some of my younger students who are in high school playing, or getting ready to play, on their golf teams.

Thank you so much Thomas! We look forward to following your career wherever it may take you.


Third Annual Capital Cup Challenge Supporting Morton Golf Foundation Life & Skills Academy was a Success

The 3rd Annual Capital Cup Challenge was held at William Land Golf Course under perfect conditions.  The event was kicked-off on Wednesday, December 1st with a practice round to get everyone geared up for the competition the following day. 

The sun was shining bright, the wind was low and the golf course was in perfect playing condition.

There were 8 City Elected Officials wearing blue shirts playing a 2-person scramble golf match against the 8 County Elected Officials wearing red shirts.

CITY TEAM (Blue Shirts):                                COUNTY TEAM (Red Shirts):

Rick Jennings                                                   Donald Terry

Katie Valenzvela                                             Garrett Gatewood

Darrell Steinberg                                            Patrick Kennedy

Kevin McCarty                                                Rick Launey

Lauren Hammond                                           Brian Cooley

Steve Cohn                                                      Nancy Bui Thompson

Rob Fong                                                         Mike Kozlowski

Jay Schenirer                                                   Stephanie Nguyen

When the 9-hole match finished the County -vs- City was tied 2 – 2 .  It was time for a putt off match on the putting green.

The 2 County Elected Officials winning the final putt for the County team were Nancy Bui Thompson and Brian Cooley.

A new 2021 plaque will be added to the perpetual trophy that will now move to the County’s territory.  For the past 2 years, this tournament was won by the City teams until now.

The dollars raised for the past 3 years go toward the construction and sustaining the Morton Golf Foundation Life & 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 & the community in the Hiram Johnson neighborhood.  The Hiram Johnson community will have the opportunity to participate not only in the after school golf programs but also throughout the summer months.

Our hope is to have construction in 2022 and by this event next year we’ll kick it off with hoping that everyone participating has had the opportunity to tour the new Life & Golf Skills Academy at Hiram Johnson High School.


Junior Golf Marathon “100 Holes of Golf” Held at Bing Maloney on Saturday, November 6

Bing Maloney Golf Course hosted the Morton Golf Foundation’s “100 Holes of Golf on Saturday, November 6.

From the moment we drove in the entrance of Bing Maloney Golf Course & saw the “Welcome Junior Golf Marathon” on the marquee we knew it was going to be a great day.

30 juniors, families & friends gathered to play “100 Holes of Golf” on the E9 as a fundraiser to support the 2022 Junior Golf Development Grant program.

The juniors themselves go out to gather donations as many of them also receive funds & benefits from this program. This is a very rewarding way for these juniors to help pay it forward.

This was a day the juniors could just play the game, laugh with friends & not turn in a golf score.

Every player today was a Winner.

Not only in the prizes & fun on the course but off the course as they represent Morton Golf Foundation & the core values we all live by.

The event ended with new friendships made over lunch in the Maloney Grille as everyone looks forward to next year’s “100 Holes of Golf”.


2021 Morton Golf Foundation Scholarship Winners Celebrated at Golf & Guitars

On Monday, October 18th, 2021 the 20 Scholarship WINNERS for Morton Golf Foundation were invited to go on stage and be recognized for their high school achievements through the game of golf.

The scholarship winners are awarded dollars to use to future their education.  They are not required to play golf in college to receive this scholarship.

This year with “Golf & Guitars” being held in October due to COVID-19 many of the 20 scholarship winners were already at school.

Their parents were invited to come to “Golf & Guitars” and cheer when their child’s name was announced.  It’s fun to see the picture where there are so many different ages because the parents are present in our 2021 scholarship picture.

Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners!


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.


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/