Army vet teaches life lessons through golf

Tee-Lo Golf has been guiding kids for nearly 20 years

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Robert Biggers, president of Tee-Lo Golf, is this week's Getting Results Award winner

Biggers has been teaching golf to Central Florida kids and using the game as a way to demonstrate life lessons.  

Tee-Lo is a play on words. The program started in Tangelo Park nearly 20 years ago and the name is a nod to the West Orlando community. 

"They were having a lot of problems with the kids and drugs and stuff in Tangelo, and they wanted the kids to have an alternative so we started golf," Biggers said. "We haven't had any golfers who have become professional, but we have had kids who have gone on to college or joined the military."

Biggers said he's probably taught thousands of kids over the years, and some of his former students have been fortunate enough to earn golf scholarships. 

Biggers said he uses the game to teach kids discipline and life lessons.

"There's no referees, so you have to call penalties on yourself. So you learn self discipline, and personal integrity," he said. "They have a little difficulty with it because they don't get it at home. So when they get it with me, sometime it's the first time they've had any real tough love."  

Biggers said his love of the game started when he was young. His father was a caddy in Mobile, Alabama. He perfected his skills while serving 25 years in the Army. 

After retiring and coming home to Orlando, he was searching for a purpose and decided to help the neighborhood kids.

"I felt like it was my duty to assist those kids," he said. "I had been away so long, nobody knew me and I hadn't done anything. So I decided that I was going to try and do something for my community and that's what I did."

Until recently, the lessons were free. That changed when he built a three-hole training center on 2.5 acres located at the New Beginnings Church on Curry Ford Road. The center features artificial turf with sand and water hazards.

Biggers proudly gave News 6 a tour of the course, pointing out all the features.

"We have three 4-inch holes and one 8-inch hole," he said, describing options for different skill levels. "I'm proud that this golf training facility looks like a real golf course. For kids, this is ideal."  

The minimal fee helps pay for maintenance costs.

New Beginnings pastor Howard Harrison said having the center so close to the church's K-8 academy is a benefit for the kids.

"It puts them in a position where the areas that they operate, the circles of influence are now broadened because they're learning something else. It puts them in a position to communicate with others that they normally wouldn't have."

Biggers said he's been successful by involving parents. He said he's even taught them the game as well.

"The (children are) easier to work with if their parents are here. If their parents aren't here, then you become a babysitter, and I'm not ready to do that yet!" Beggars exclaimed.

Biggers said he's trying to raise funds to remodel one of the portable classrooms on campus. He hopes to use it for indoor studies.  

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