Talking Stick Golf Club opens site for The First Tee of Phoenix 

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community becomes the first Native American community to host a The First Tee facility in Arizona

A handful of youngsters surrounding Thunderbird, Danny Calihan, as he addresses the gathering.

The First Tee of Phoenix and the Salt River-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) announced an agreement to open a junior golf programming site for The First Tee of Phoenix at Talking Stick Golf Club. This distinguishes the SRPMIC as the first Native American community to host a The First Tee facility in Arizona.

 “Talking Stick is a fantastic golf facility that will certainly be an ideal place for youngsters to learn, play and enjoy golf and the many life lessons it teaches,” said Tim Kloenne, Board Chair for The First Tee of Phoenix. “The partnership also symbolizes the unique way that the game brings communities together, builds friendships and creates a positive foundation for the growth of our future community leaders.”

Open to the public, a grand opening ceremony too place on Saturday, March 28 at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale (9800 East Indian Bend Road). The event will kicked off with a ceremonial blessing by SRPMIC Council Member Tom Largo followed by a traditional cultural performance.

“The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is proud to partner with The First Tee of Phoenix and The Thunderbirds to bring this fun and affordable program to the Talking Stick Golf Club,” said Martin Harvier, Vice President of SRPMIC. “There will be tremendous positive impacts to the health and well-being of our youth and the life skills they will learn by participating in the program will further ready them for success in all areas of their lives.”

Others to address the audience included Kevin Terry, Executive Director, The First Tee of Phoenix; Tom King of The Thunderbirds, founders of The First Tee of Phoenix chapter; Martin Harvier, Vice President of SRPMIC and Board Chair of Talking Stick Golf Club, and a representative from The First Tee Home Office. After the speeches, a group of SRPMIC dancers, ages 8-17 years old, performed a traditional dance before the group broke up to take part in a golf clinic featuring stations for full swing, chipping, putting and Toka, a traditional Native American game similar to field hockey. The event concluded with lunch and a fund-raising raffle.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a sovereign tribe located in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Established by Executive Order on June 14, 1879, the Community operates as a full-service government and oversees departments, programs, projects and facilities. With two distinct histories and cultures, the Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: the Pima, “Akimel O’Odham” (River People) and the Maricopa, “Xalychidom Piipaash” (People who live toward the water). Today, there are just over 10,000 individuals who are enrolled tribal members.

Talking Stick Golf Club is one of many amenities located within the Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination located at the 101 Pima Freeway and Indian Bend on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona. Designed by golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the club features two uniquely distinctive golf courses, both providing excellent options to golfers of all play levels. Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, both courses are managed by Century Golf Partners. Century has a successful track record of partnering with owners, members and communities to help clubs and golf courses succeed. For more information about Talking Stick Golf Club please visit

The First Tee of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by The Thunderbirds for the purpose of providing affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life, particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play.  As one of the largest chapters in The First Tee Network impacting more than 100,000 youth annually, The First Tee of Phoenix offers classes, special monthly family events and tournaments as part of its programming. Now with 14 locations in the Valley – Talking Stick, South Mountain, Desert Mirage, Papago, Falcon Dunes, Longbow, Lone Tree, Cave Creek, Encanto, Maryvale, Augila, Palm Valley and Augusta Ranch – The First Tee of Phoenix programming sites serve as conveniently located places for participants. For more information, call 602.305.7655, or visit

The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. For more information, visit