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Barrow to retire as First Tee executive in 2017

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The First Tee announced Wednesday that Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., will step down as the organization's CEO at the end of 2017.

Barrow joined The First Tee in 2000, and he was at the helm as the organization, which is focused on youth development, grew to include more than 1,000 golf courses, 8,000 schools and 800 after-school locations.

"Joe has served The First Tee organization, the golf community and the young people of this nation well through his visionary and impassioned leadership," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. "There is little doubt that his guidance has been instrumental in bringing the organization to where it is today."

Barrow's exit will coincide with the organization's 20-year anniversary, as well as the conclusion of a seven-year period (2011-2017) during which The First Tee is on pace to meet its goal of introducing 10 million young people to the game of golf. Barrow will be on hand to celebrate the anniversary at the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club.

"I am deeply proud of the positive impact The First Tee has had over the years, especially the number of young people who are now in a different place because of our work," Barrow said. "The First Tee has and always will be more than a game to the young people we reach."