Tate Reid started playing golf with his dad when he was just a toddler. Now he’s a high school junior preparing to play with professionals at the PURE Insurance Championship, where 80 First Tee juniors will play alongside PGA TOUR Champions players at Pebble Beach.
He’s excited and a little nervous, he said. “Getting to experience playing with PGA TOUR Champions pros on these amazing courses, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” said Tate.
Tate is a junior coach at First Tee – Manhattan, where he shares his love for the sport with younger participants.
“I think I just enjoy the desire to get better and improve yourself,” he said. “When you hit good shots, it’s fun. You just keep coming back for that feeling.”
Golf helped Tate get through a difficult time when he was younger. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 8, just a month after moving to Manhattan, Kansas. He went through over three years of chemotherapy but is now in remission. “Golf just made me feel like a normal kid again,” he said.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which was created to highlight the importance of investing in lifesaving research and supporting those families who’ve been touched by the disease. Acknowledging his own experience is important to Tate because he believes it might help children in the future.
Tate’s mom said First Tee – Manhattan was a safe place for her son during his illness. “It’s such a great program,” Amy Reid said. “It doesn’t matter your level as far as skills, everyone is so encouraging. When Tate was in treatment, we had to be careful with him being exposed to germs and his coaches were fantastic about keeping an extra eye on him.”
She’s proud of how Tate has overcome challenges but not let them define him, she said. “He’s kind of a quiet old soul, super responsible guy who doesn’t like to have the spotlight on him but works hard and excels at what he does,” she said.
In addition to golf – Tate has an +0.1 handicap and works at a local golf course – he also plays trumpet as section leader in the pep band.
You can watch Tate and the full field of 80 juniors competing in the 2023 PURE Insurance Championship on Golf Channel, Sept. 22-24.