Local First Tee Coachella Valley Standout gets National Recognition, talks about growing the game

As we all know, the Coachella Valley is a major golf hub for fans, the professionals, and even some aspiring stars — many who started with the First Tee Coachella Valle.y

Among them, includes 18-year-old Maleyna ‘Beast Mode’ Gregorio, who has been with the First Tee since the age of four.

“I think something that’s so amazing about the First Tee is that they truly help and guide you throughout your golf journey and the journey of life,” says Maleyna.

The First Tee is a nonprofit designed to help young golfers build their strength of character through the game, and Maleyna has been a clear standout.

Recently, Maleyna was one of only 40 First Tee Participants selected across the country to attend the second-annual First Tee Leadership Summit in partnership with PGA TOUR Superstore in West Creek Ranch,  Montana.

She says, the summit taught her and others there a lot.

While there, these young golfers would take part in dynamic outdoor and team-building activities.

“Those activities really made me get closer to the people who did attend that leadership summit. And we had some amazing keynote speakers that I’ll be taking quotes from them like success is a constant road under construction,” Maleyna said while describing her experience. Among the keynote speakers included Josh Stewart and even NFL standout Michael Vick, who spoke on the power of decision-making.

One of the many takeaways Maleyna took away, included his comments on not losing one’s self to their sport saying, “He gave us some great advice on how to not tie your identity as an athlete to also a human being, which I think is very important for me moving forward into playing collegiate golf.”

But all in all, Maleyna says the values and experiences with the First Tee — both on and off the course — are unmatched.

“So when you look at First Tee, it’s not only just about the game of golf, it’s about truly building upon who one is as a person and the people in First Tee Coachella Valley are so passionate about what they do and they’re going to help your child grow whether that’s in the game of golf or not,” Maleyna went on to say, “But the core values and the life lessons they teach you is something that will correlate with your child for the rest of their life.”

Maleyna is headed to UC Riverside this Fall where she’ll play on the Women’s Golf Team. And when it comes to what she wants to do after college, Maleyna says she wants to try to go try out for Q-school with her sights set on the LPGA Tour. However, she says, “regardless if that works out or not, I hope to still be in the golf industry and help work on continuing women’s rights equality in the game sports.”

Talialaina Letoi