First Tee Spotlight: Andrew DeYoung

Andrew DeYoung | 25 years old | First Tee Alum – Ferris State University |  PGA Professional at Deal CC in New Jersey & Division 1 Head Golf Coach at Monmouth University

From Supported to Serving Others – a 10-year cycle of transformation for DeYoung

Andrew participated in our chapter’s first and second national opportunities, applying to a nationwide panel of First Tee interviewees and being selected for trips to Naples, FL (First Tee Champions Challenge) and Washington D.C. (Perfect Sense Unified Challenge) to complete and learn together with students from other First Tee chapters around the country.  Hear how his trip to Washington D.C. made an impact on his life!

Andrew joined First Tee at age 13 in 2011, attending the organization’s inaugural open-to-the-public class. Displaying a natural talent for golf, Andrew, who learned the game from his late father, became a valued member of the First Tee family. His mother, Kathi, enrolled him at The Highlands Golf Course, marking the beginning of Andrew’s journey.

Andrew, age 13, in his early days at First Tee

While at Kenowa High School, Andrew played golf for four years and consistently advanced through First Tee’s program levels. Despite occasional challenges in staying focused and making decisions affecting his academics and golf, Andrew’s potential shone through. His game also benefited from receiving free lessons from former Cascade Hills CC Director of Instruction and state-ranked instructor Brandon Roby, PGA.

Encouraged by First Tee Executive Director Tyler Smies, Andrew applied for a national opportunity to visit Washington D.C. Selected for the experience, he spent a week at Congressional Country Club, playing with PGA Tour Professional Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and meeting Jordan Spieth. This transformative trip ignited a newfound focus for Andrew to mentor younger students.

Andrew with PGA Tour star Jordan Spieth in 2014 at the First Tee National Opportunity in Washington D.C.

“He came back different. It’s like a light bulb switched for him,” Executive Director Tyler Smies said. “After that trip to D.C., he was extremely focused on helping younger students and giving back. And he never looked back.”

Post-trip and upon high school graduation, Andrew pursued a degree in Professional Golf Management at Ferris State University.

Andrew passing his Playing Ability Test as a Freshman at Ferris State University, to become a PGA Professional

Graduating in 2021, he returned to Deal Golf and Country Club in New Jersey as an Assistant Golf Professional, after interning there while at Ferris. Now Andrew runs the club’s junior golf program, and his dedication there led to his hiring as Head Coach of Monmouth University’s Division 1 Golf program at the age of 25 in the fall of 2024.

Andrew DeYoung, far right, Head Coach of D1 Monmouth University Golf Team this fall

“To see Andrew grow so much through First Tee – West Michigan, and then to have such an immense and immediate impact on kids and young men in his career – it’s tremendous. His journey went full circle – from being the teenager who needed someone in his life, to becoming that someone for other kids and young men,” Smies said. 

Since Andrew’s trip, more than twenty First Tee students have embarked on national opportunities, broadening their horizons through golf, leadership, and travel experiences.

To ensure future students benefit from life-changing opportunities like Andrew’s, your support is crucial. Please consider supporting First Tee – West Michigan – 90% of our expenses are covered by donors like you!