Rich Jones, who heads The First Tee of Suffolk County and runs the Rich Jones Golf Academy in Central Islip, has been named one of the top 50 Kids Golf Teachers in the U.S. He will be presented his award at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Jan. 29.

          Rich is a great guy who does tireless work. The First Tee is a terrific program, offering golf to young people who might not have been exposed to the game otherwise. You might remember an installment of LI Golfbeat during the summer in which we pointed out that The First Tee is booming on Long Island, especially in Nassau. Rich is giving it a major boost in Suffolk, too.

           His academy is at 1 Gull Haven Drive, (631) 655-2233 or www.academygolf.org.

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