Jacob Pendry has had plenty of great experiences in golf since joining the First Tee of the Triad when he was 9 years old.
But there will be a highlight later this month as he ventures out to Pebble Beach to play in the PGA Tour Champions PURE Insurance Championship Sept. 27-29.
The 16th annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, will be held at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., and will be televised on the Golf Channel.
Pendry, a 17-year-old senior at Oak Grove High School who lives in Lexington, was one of 78 First Tee participants from across the country selected to play alongside the pro golfers.
“It’s definitely going to be very cool, and I can’t wait,” said Pendry, who has a four handicap and plays on the Oak Grove golf team. “I know I’ve heard from a lot of people that I need to take plenty of pictures.”
Thanks to the First Tee of the Triad, Pendry has already played in the Wyndham Championship Pro-Am at Sedefield Country Club. He says the First Tee has done a lot for him through the years.
“There are life skills you learn through the nine core values,” he said. “But the coaches are also good at giving you tips and things for the game of golf. I’ve learned a lot thanks to the First Tee.”
Pendry, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is applying to colleges and is looking forward to the next stage of his life.
“That’s really my next big decision, so I’ll be focusing on that here pretty soon,” he said about choosing a college.
Pendry says he and his family will fly Sept. 24 to California and will get to play practice rounds at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills. Then the competition will begin where he’ll partner with a PGA Tour Champions player.
“I’m hoping I can play with Jay Haas,” Pendry said. “I’ve met his brother, Jerry, who is the golf coach at Wake Forest. I don’t know how it all works with who I’ll play with. I just know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
During his years with the First Tee, he has been through the classes at both Tanglewood Park and Winston Lake. The ACE program, which is the highest level of the First Tee, is held at Winston Lake.
Pendry doesn’t have a home course and says he plays a lot at Meadowlands Golf Club in Wallburg as well as several other courses around the area.
The First Tee of the Triad has 18 different chapters and has sent a qualified golfer just about every year that the First Tee has been associated with the PGA Tour Champions tournament.
Pendry said he’s talked with Blake Brantley, who qualified in 2017.
“I’ve spoken to Blake about everything that goes on and what to expect,” Pendry said. “I’m just going to play my game and have fun with it.”
To be selected as one of the 78 First Tee participants from all over the United States, an essay was sent in with the application. Pendry didn’t know if he would make it, but was surprised how he found out.
“Actually, one of my friends called me because he was watching the Golf Channel and they announced it there,” Pendry said. “It didn’t matter how I found out. I just wanted to get an opportunity to go out there and play.”
The downfall of being out in California is the school days he will miss, but Pendry is working ahead so he won’t fall behind.
“I think all my teachers at school know about this except for two of them,” he said. “I’ll try to work ahead and get my work done. I’m pretty good at being organized when it comes to that, so I’ll be fine.”
Nearly 1,000 golfers from First Tee have played in the PURE Insurance Championship through the years.