Scholarships provide an opportunity for you to earn the education you need to become a Game Changer in our community. We understand that over the course of your college and graduate school years, you may experience challenges in order to pay for your classes, books, and lodging. Below are the scholarship programs First Tee – Monterey County offers to help build Game Changers.
Click the button below to learn about the Class of 2022 First Tee – Monterey County Scholarship Winners.
John Zoller Memorial Scholarship
He was a man of quiet dignity, integrity, philanthropy, compassion, and humor until he died January 30, 2007, after losing a two-year battle with leukemia at age 82.
Zoller was one the greatest golfers in the history of Ohio State University, a program that produced, among others, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. He left college at age 19 to fight in World War II with the 103rd Division, which landed at Normandy on D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and eventually liberated Dachau, an infamous Nazi concentration camp.
John was a great family man. He returned to Ohio State after the war, graduated with an engineering degree, and in 1947 married Donna Jane Goldcamp. They were married for 59 years and had six children (three of his sons became golf superintendents), 14 grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
In 1958, the Zollers moved to Oregon. He began a 16-year stint as superintendent of golf at Eugene Country Club and helped develop several of the courses that are jewels of the industry today. He brought those credentials to the Monterey Peninsula Country Club in 1974, where he became the superintendent of golf and quickly became general manager. By 1979, he was executive director of the Northern California Golf Association, where he became a critical force behind the conception and development of the Poppy Hills Golf Course.
John was a man who never wanted credit for anything and always was very embarrassed when he got any. Zoller worked on various projects associated with the Pebble Beach Co. and was the vice-chairman of The Monterey Peninsula Foundation. John did all the pairings for the AT&T Pro-Am every year. He was the one who assigned all the tee times and determined who would be playing with whom.
Zoller was the project manager for Tehama Golf Club, Clint Eastwood’s private golf club in Monterey. He was in charge of building the course and putting the golf club together and was, in effect, the general manager, though he declined to accept the title. One of his most remarkable projects was bringing The First Tee – Monterey County into existence. It is true to say that without John, First Tee – Monterey County would not be in existence – and all over a set of used golf clubs.
His ashes have been interred adjacent to the club’s 14th tee, a spot that overlooks one of the most picturesque areas of the golf course. It was his favorite spot.
Ollie Nutt Memorial Scholarship
Ollie Nutt passed away in 2021 after a battle with pancreatic cancer in Phoenix at 80 years old. Ollie graduated from Michigan State University in 1964, where he met his wife, Bonnie. He worked at Amdahl Corporation after 21 years, where he was vice president of sales, and retired in 1997. Ollie then became the President and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and was instrumental in numerous changes to the foundation when he took over in 1999. Ollie held this position for 13 years before retiring in 2012. The foundation raised more than $100 million in charitable contributions. The purse for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am PGA Tour event on the Monterey Peninsula went from $2.8 million in 1999 to $6.5 million in 2011. His visions were a benchmark for all PGA Tour tournaments, and the charitable contributions the game brings in are among the highest on tour.
The foundation added the First Tee Open during his reign — now the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach — which showcases PGA Tour Champions players competing alongside First Tee juniors. In 2013 he played in the AT&T Pro-Am with his son Bret, calling it an early Father’s Day gift that he’d never forget.
Ollie was instrumental in spreading the idea of giving back in the Monterey area for the disadvantaged and, with John Zoller, co-founded First Tee – Monterey County. Without Ollie, First Tee – Monterey County would not be in existence.
Ollie enjoyed life and always appreciated the addition of humor and made the Monterey area better for all citizens. After retiring from Monterey Peninsula Foundation, he moved to Arizona at Mirabel Golf Course in Scottsdale with his wife, Bonnie.
Donna Zoller Memorial Scholarship
Donna Zoller died on January 23, 2012, at 86. She passed after a short battle with cancer.
Donna was born to Stephen and Edna Goldcamp in Youngstown, Ohio, on March 20, 1925. She was the youngest of seven children. She attended Northwestern University and the Ohio State University, where she earned a degree in English literature.
While attending Ohio State, she met and married John Zoller. John and Donna started a family that would include six children; John, Robert, Tom, Chris, Jim, and Gretchen. They moved to Eugene, Oregon, in 1958 and finally settled on the Monterey Peninsula in 1974, where they lived happily until John died in 2007.
Donna’s most defining attributes were her incredibly optimistic view of life and her faith in the human spirit. Donna was as good of a person as one could find, and she loved playing golf, exercising, and socializing with friends and family, often with a Manhattan! She loved her video poker and yearned for an adventure of any sort, especially in her car.
She was the founder of the Z Gal’s Ladies Invitational Golf Tournament and Luncheon, a fundraiser for the girls of First Tee – Monterey County. Donna saw the good that First Tee – Monterey County was doing in the community and wanted to create something, especially for girls. Since its inception, Z Gals has raised over $1.5 million. It is played at Tehama Golf Club, the club that her husband John Zoller designed and managed.
Susan and Fred Breidenbach Program
Fred Breidenbach lives part of the time in Monterey with his wife Susan, and the rest of the time, they live in South Carolina. They play golf at Tehama Golf Club.
Fred left a 25-year career with General Electric to become president and chief operating officer of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Fred received an engineering degree from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Fred states many times that Gulfstream’s competitive advantage is the “can-do” attitude of the employees. Both Fred and Susan strongly feel that a solid education is critical for the success of young people. They sponsor up to five college scholarships every year for the sons and daughters of Gulfstream employees…for it was those employees who willingly did what was asked during the challenging “turnaround” years of 1993 and 1994 when the company’s survival was at stake. The Susan and Fred Breidenbach Program is established to recognize and honor academic excellence among high school students who show a high level of commitment toward completing their post-secondary education.
Fred and Susan were very particular about supporting High School graduates from First Tee – Monterey County and are delighted to offer new scholarships this year.
Pay It Forward Scholarship & Mentoring Program
The Pay It Forward Scholarship & Mentoring Program is a support & accountability program that ensures first-generation college students succeed.
Click here to learn more.