Kids Doing Good: Teen golfer's Augusta greatness

Elise Deschaine, 15, is one of 80 finalists to compete on the Golf Channel at Augusta at the end of the month. (KATU Photo)

Elise Deschaine has made it to an elite competition about to be held at the Augusta National Golf Club during Masters Week.

The 15-year-old beat out hundreds of kids around the nation to play in the Drive Chip Putt Championship.

Elise feels most at home teeing it up on a golf course, and you’ll often see her at the children’s course volunteering during the summer.

“I started golfing here when I was 10 with the girls’ golf class. Then I started taking First Tee classes,” she says.

But get ready to watch her on a much larger stage. She leaves for Augusta at the end of the month as one of the 80 finalists to compete live on the Golf Channel.

“Drive Chip Putt is a national competition which focuses on the three main skills of golf: driving, chipping and putting,” Elise says.

She is the first student from the First Tee program of Greater Portland history to make it to the final competition at Augusta National.

“I was one of the first girls who went, and I didn’t know until the final moment,” she says. “It was crazy.”

Elise plans to block out all the extra attention and just do her best.

“I’m a little nervous but so excited to have made it to Augusta,” she says. “It’s an honor to go there.”

Elise appreciates the tools she’s learned on the greens.

“Golf really keeps me strong-minded. I get to play beautiful courses and meet new people,” she says.

And she’s grateful for her past and hopes to continue to teach other young hopeful golfers.

“First Tee has given me so many opportunities. Without First Tee, I wouldn’t be the golfer I am today. I’m thankful,” she says.

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