Brendan O’Connell: From the Learning Center to the Corporate Office

We’re celebrating 20 years of impact in Fort Worth and surrounding communities! After two decades, we’ve served over 20,000 kids and young adults, and that means lots of amazing stories! We recently caught up with one of our alumni who graduated from college this past year.

Brendan O’Connell was a First Tee – Fort Worth regular and skilled player during his time with our chapter! Taking advantage of the opportunities offered, Brendan was highly involved with our chapter’s Junior Advisory Committee and was voted in as President in his later high school years. Leading a group of your peers is a whole new experience for most teens, but Brendan was able to take those skills and apply them to life later on in college.

Brendan attended the esteemed Cornell University and graduated in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics and Management. During his time at Cornell, Brendan was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as President during the 2021-22 school year. Brendan attributes many of the skills he utilized as President of his fraternity as being first developed during his time as President of the JAC at First Tee – Fort Worth.

These days, Brendan works as an investment analyst with CornerStone Partners, and while he doesn’t have as much time for golf as he used to, he stills enjoys the game and playing when he can. Most recently, Brendan scored a 77 on the challenging TPC Harding Park in San Francisco during an outing with clients – proving that he’s still got it!

Our own Coach Chuck connected with Brendan to ask him a few questions about his experience with First Tee – Fort Worth.

Chuck: What was your most memorable experience as a participant?

Brendan: Playing in the 2017 PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach.

C: Is there anything you learned while at First Tee that you still use now, golf or life skills related?

B: Goal setting; how to set goals and tackle them one step at a time. More broadly, with each passing year, I realize how much learning to navigate the game of golf can teach us about how to navigate life.

C: How has golf continued to be a part of your life and what Core Value has helped you navigate golf the best?

B: I continue to play golf with friends when I can. Being confident on the course has helped me continue to navigate the game despite not having the time to play as much as I once did.

C: When you think back on your time with First Tee, what stands out the most as something that you looked forward to each time you were in class?

B: I looked forward to challenging myself and improving week after week.

C: If you could give a piece of advice to a participant in our program just getting started or early in their journey with First Tee, what would it be?

B: Push yourself to spend time outside of your comfort zone. In particular, take advantage of leadership opportunities.

C: Which Core Value from First Tee do you see yourself use the most in your everyday life?

B: Responsibility

C: Looking back on your journey through First Tee, what is one thing you wish you would have done more of or better?

B: I always enjoyed getting to volunteer as a coach – learning how to teach young people is a joy and a privilege and there’s no such thing as too much of it.

We love hearing about our alum success stories and enjoy catching up! Visit our Alumni Page or re-connect with us by emailing [email protected]!