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The First Tee – Giving and Golf

When it comes to giving time and help to young people, The First Tee uses the game of golf to introduce and teach life-skills.

How were you introduced to golf?  Your parents? Grandparents? A close friend? Chances are good that someone who cared about you taught you about the game, what clubs you need and a little about golf etiquette. Someone “gave” their time to help you learn a sport that can become a lifelong enjoyment.

There is an organization that exists to give time to young people to help them develop skills for golf – and for life. If you haven’t heard about The First Tee, then you must read on; if you have heard of this worthy organization, also read on for a reminder of what this group is doing to give kids life skills education.

Just like in the real game, the numbers are important. Independent research shows that 73% of young people who participated with The First Tee report high confidence that they have the ability to be academically successful. It also showed that 82% of participants felt confidence in their social interactions with peers.

The First Tee has several programs that offer unique experiences to kids and teens ages 5 to 18 including The First Tee DRIVE program, designed for coaches and volunteers at youth organizations. DRIVE is a series of 18 golf activity plans that present golf to kids and introduce them to the organization’s nine core values:  respect, courtesy, responsibility, honesty, sportsmanship, confidence, judgment, perseverance and integrity.

Children use modified golf equipment to play familiar games in which they incorporate the basic shots – putt, chip, pitch, and full swing.  These games can be done indoors or outdoors and at the end of the session, the children are asked to apply the values learned to their own lives.

The First Tee also supports programs for the children of military families. Since 2009, the group has partnered with the Department of Defense in offering golf and life skills on 100 installations in the United States and overseas. Children of National Guard and Reservists are also included in activities.

While The First Tee national headquarters is based in St. Augustine, FL, there are chapters located across the country. Want to make a difference in the lives of children in your area? Gather your friends and plan a volunteer outing with The First Tee. Giving your time or making a donation will help a child to build confidence and character through the game of golf.