Where are they now: First Tee National Championship winners 

First Tee returns to Clemson University this year for its 4th annual National Championship. This year’s field includes 24 boys and 24 girls from First Tee chapters across the country to experience what golf looks like at the next level.

In addition to showcasing their skills and perseverance on the course, players will also attend a golf careers panel and a keynote address from First Tee alumnus Gavin Parker

This year’s tournament will be streamed on Gamecast, and you can follow scoring on Golf Genius. 

Before we head to Clemson, we caught up with our past winners to see what they’re up to. 

Ashton Harper  
First Tee — Roanoke Valley 

Ashton won the inaugural First Tee National Championship at Clemson in 2021 and is now a member of the golf team at Virginia Tech, where he is majoring in business. Ashton said his experience with First Tee taught him valuable lessons in perseverance. “Golf is not a game of perfect, and there will always be ups and downs when playing this game, but they are magnified in tournaments due to the high stakes. I was able to use perseverance to fight these ups and downs,” he said. 

Ashton aims to become an All-ACC player by the end of his tenure at Virginia Tech before going on to play professionally. 

Symran Shah 
First Tee — Greater Dallas 

Like Ashton, Symran won the First Tee National Championship at Clemson in 2021 and now plays golf at Virginia Tech. She studies business and plans to have a career in healthcare administration. 

Hannah Lydic 
First Tee — Delaware 

Hannah won the 2022 First Tee National Championship held at Notre Dame and is now a member of the golf team at the University of Richmond, majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Her experience in the First Tee National Championship taught her patience and perseverance in both herself and her game, she said. 

As a Spider, she’s won awards for golf and academics. “What’s cool about the game of golf is that if you play calm and treat your playing partners with kindness, you will ultimately have a better experience on the course which will allow you to play at a higher level,” she said. Because of her experience with First Tee coaches, she fell in love with golf and now has the goal to become a collegiate golf coach. 

Hunter Swanson 
First Tee — Green Valley Ranch 

Hunter won the First Tee National Championship at Notre Dame in 2022 and is now a business student and member of the golf team at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Hunter lost to Ashton in a playoff at the 2021 First Tee National Championship, which inspired him to have the perseverance to come back and win at Notre Dame and taught him how to be more comfortable in high stress situations, he said.  

As a college golfer, Hunter said the most important lesson he learned from First Tee is confidence. “I find I play more relaxed and have a better game when I practice enough to believe in my abilities,” he said. Since winning the First Tee National Championship, Hunter has made the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame, been a Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Week and the Nevada State Amateur runner up. 

Megan Meng  
First Tee — Greater Trenton 

Megan won the 2023 First Tee National Championship at Stanford and is preparing to begin her college golf career at Northwestern, where she’ll study economics. Her experience playing in the First Tee National Championship challenged her to be hardworking and patient. She said she continues to use other First Tee lessons. “I find that it is important to always apply respect, sportsmanship and courtesy to those you are playing with,” said Megan, who also won the 2022 PURE Insurance Championship. 

Recently, Megan was a member of Team USA at the 2023 Junior Solheim Cup and a 2023 Rolex Scholastic Junior All-American. She’s currently in the Top 10 of the AJGA Rankings and plans to pursue professional golf. 

Cooper Groshart 
First Tee — Central Coast 

Cooper won the 2023 First Tee National Championship at Stanford and now attends California State East Bay, as a business administration major and a member of the golf team. Confidence is a First Tee lesson that Cooper keeps with him today while playing competitive golf. His experience in the First Tee National Championship was inspiring, as he saw so many people from different places share the same drive to compete and succeed in golf, he said.  

Cooper played in the 2023 U.S. Junior Amateur in Charleston. As a freshman, he competed in 12 tournaments with his college team and has been on the dean’s list both semesters. He said his goal is to continue to improve as a player and a person. 

Learn more about the First Tee National Championship.