First Tee – West Michigan is excited to have a new program director on staff! Taylour Boer will be taking on the role and will be leading our chapter’s programming. Taylour will be in charge of developing our programs, working with parents, answering their questions, and registering their participants while making sure they progress through First Tee – West Michigan’s curriculum. Now that Taylour is getting settled into her new role, here is a chance to learn who Taylour the person is!
Where did you grow up, go to school, sports that you played,
I grew up in Marshall, huge tomboy, into all sports. Anything you could think of. My two favorites as a kid were basketball and soccer. Soccer through middle school and then I was playing both sports year-round. My mom had enough and said, “Hey you gotta pick one, we’re doing too much running around every night.” So I ended up sticking with basketball. And I played that through high school, as well as golf. Grew up in that area, a small town. I think that’s why I liked Aquinas. This, you know wooded campus in the middle of the big city but it felt like a small little community.
Talk about your family and just talk about yourself. Favorite hobbies, favorite food, favorite movies. That sort of thing.
Outside of golf, I’m much more of a summer person. Winter is hit or miss. I got a puppy so he kept me pretty active this winter. In the summer, love kayaking, tubing down the river, that type of stuff. Last year we started camping which is a lot of fun. Really any of those outdoor activities. Grilling and playing yard games, bonfires, all that stuff. Your typical Michigan summer. Favorite food, I really like pizza, it’s a good go to, and tacos. There’s been some good new taco spots in Grand Rapids.
I’m always a sucker for the classic sports movies, like Remember the Titans or Coach Carter, the Blindside. Love those.
My husband is Jason, we got married in August 2019 so coming up on two years. Been together for almost nine years. Met just after college, we were both working at MC Sports. My immediate family, I have two sisters in high school, my mom lives in Montana. So when I visit I love checking out the national parks, white water rafting. For the most part, the rest of my family is in Michigan. My dad is one of seven so I have a huge extended family that lives in Marshall, I’ve got like 23 first cousins, super close family. It was a lot of fun growing up. Always had cousins running around. I still stay in touch with them a lot.
Give us some background on your work experience and how you got to where you are today.
I started working in golf at the end of high school, I worked three years at a course in my hometown just doing every job at the golf course, pro shop, getting the range balls, working in the restaurant, and I did events for weddings. So I did that through part of college. When I moved up to Grand Rapids permanently, I worked at Cascade Country Club for a year. Then in college, I played golf for Aquinas. Straight out of college, I became the assistant coach and then moved to the head coach position for about a year and a half. At the same time, I was working as a shop manager at the pro shop of our home course Scott Lake. So that’s my background in golf, and then outside of that, I left golf in 2016 and went to Gordon Food Service full-time. I started in an entry-level data entry position. After about a year and a half maybe two years I stepped into a credit analyst role where I was assessing the risk of our new and existing business. That’s my last couple of years there. And then Obviously an assistant or a lead coach for First Tee for about four and a half years as well.
What stood out about First Tee – West Michigan that drove you here?
Yeah, I think having worked with the program for quite a while, it’s just being able to give kids that might not have the opportunity to play golf, the chance to do that. Golf is something I love, one of my huge passions. And being able to give low-income families that chance. Frankly, golf is not a cheap sport so the fact that we have the opportunity to do this is pretty amazing to me so continuing to give back to the community in that way is great.
What is your favorite thing about being at First Tee – West Michigan so far?
Outside of coaching, I would say just the different tasks that every day brings. Whether it was like last week, randomly having to pick up gazebos, just not being stuck in front of a computer screen at the office. There’s an opportunity to do other things. Like getting in front of donors at one of the marathons. Being able to talk about the programs with them and what we do. There’s a lot of different opportunities for us.
What is your favorite of the 9 core values and why?
I think my favorite one especially to teach is probably sportsmanship. I would say with that one, I feel like once you teach that to the class it’s so, it’s a lot easier to see that the kids are picking up on that. It’s between that and confidence. Like building each other up and not making fun of a kid when they hit a bad shot. Or, they’re helping you out at the end of the class picking up materials. I feel like they are more engaged with each other in a positive manner. It’s something they can grasp and display instantly in class. Confidence is a good one too. I feel like kids can, I don’t know, be let down easily. You get those middle school-aged kids that are not confident in what they do a lot of the time. So being able to build that up in them.
What makes you excited for the future with First Tee?
I think to see where the First Tee goes in general. It’s grown so much since I started leading. To go from, I think when I started coaching there might’ve been three full-time people. To now have a much larger staff. That’s huge. So that’s one of the things I’m most excited about. I think another thing I hadn’t thought about when I applied to this position was the big opportunities that our long-time students have. Being able to get college scholarships, national trips, playing in tournaments. I heard a little bit about that. But being able to be close to that I think is going to be super exciting too. Just working with students like Jorge Garcia I had in class when he was younger. So seeing he’s now an Evan’s scholar at the University of Michigan. That’s an opportunity back then he never thought he’d have. So it’s pretty amazing to see some of the kids grow through the program and where they end up.