A Unique Enrichment Program for Kids
We believe that sports, specifically the game of golf, provide a platform to encourage core values and healthy choices. What makes First Tee effective in building positive character traits in young people is the First Tee Life Skills Experience ™, a curriculum developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and delivered by trained coaches. The First Tee Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that differentiate First Tee from other youth enrichment and youth golf programs.
Through our programs, participants learn about Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits and how to apply them to life skills and transfer the positive values of golf to everyday life. Lifeskills are seamlessly incorporated into golf activities. Participants are also held accountable for positive behaviors via the First Tee Code of Conduct (see below):
First Tee Nine Core Values
Golf is unique from other sports in that players regularly call penalties on themselves and report their own score
Golf is a game of etiquette and composure. Players are responsible for their actions and personal conduct on the golf course, even at times when others may not be looking
Players must know and abide by the rules of golf and be able to conduct themselves in a kind and respectful manner towards others, even in a competitive game.
In golf, it is important to show respect for oneself, playing partners, fellow competitors, the golf course, and for the honor and tradition of the game
Confidence plays a key role in the level of play that one achieves. Players can increase confidence in their ability by being positive and focusing on something they are doing well regardless of the outcome.
Players are responsible for their actions on the golf course. It is up to them to keep score, repair divots, rake bunkers, repair ball marks on the green, and keep up with the pace of play.
To succeed in golf, players must continue through bad breaks and their own mistakes, while learning from past experiences.
A round of golf should begin and end with a handshake between fellow competitors. Players also should be still and quiet while others are preparing and performing a shot.
Using good judgment is very important in golf. It comes into play when deciding on strategy, club selection, when to play safe and when to take a chance, the type of shot players consider executing, as well as making healthy choices on and off the course.
First Tee Nine Healthy Habits
(for physical health)
It is important to understand and make healthy choices about when to eat, how much to eat, and the types of food and drinks to provide the body with the most useful energy.
A variety of energizing play can help the body stay strong, lean and fit, and be fun in the process. Sleep and other forms of “re-charging” allow one to engage in play on a daily basis
Physical safety includes playing in a safe environment and by the rules, protecting the body with proper equipment, warm-up and cool-down and wearing sun protection
(for emotional health)
In order to make the most of one’s unique gifts–talents, characteristics, and abilities–an individual needs to learn from the past, value the present, create their vision and future to ultimately “leave a footprint.”
The mind is a powerful tool for health. One’s mind influences his/her emotions and behaviors and can be utilized for self-improvement, building confidence and maintaining perspective.
When family members participate in activities together–share meals, communicate and establish roles and responsibilities–they are more likely to be successful in achieving their health-related goals.
(for social health)
Maintaining healthy relationships includes surrounding one’s self with friends and supportive people, while effectively handling challenging situations, including bullying and navigating the digital age with social media.
Success in school–learning, building relationships, and contributing to the school environment–leads to success in other areas of life.
Like the health of one’s body, it is important to also explore the health of one’s community and discover how one can give back and care for its environment safety.
First Tee Code of Conduct
Respect for Myself
- I will dress neatly and wear golf or athletic shoes.
- I will always try my best when I play or practice.
- I will keep a positive attitude and catch myself doing something right regardless of the outcome.
- I will be physically active, eat well, get enough sleep, and be safe so I can stay healthy.
- I will be honest with myself, including when I keep score and if I break a rule.
- I will use proper etiquette and maintain my composure even when others may not be watching.
Respect for Others
- I will follow all instructions and safety rules.
- I will keep up with the pace of play on the golf course.
- I will be friendly, courteous and helpful.
- I will remain still and quiet while others are playing and have fun without being loud and rowdy.
- I will be a good sport toward others whether I win or lose.
- I will encourage others to be safe and physically active.
Respect for My Surroundings
- I will keep the golf course & practice areas clean and in as good or better shape than I found them.
- I will clean and take care of my and others’ golf equipment.
- I will be careful not to damage anything that belongs to others.
Chapter Program Levels
For each level, participants receive a “yardage book” that covers the topics listed in each column above. The booklets also provide activities to prompt further reflection about concepts outside of a golf setting.
How To Advance Through The Levels
The program is self-paced and encourages participants to explore and assess their abilities and set corresponding goals to meet national certification requirements. Participants advance through the different Life Skill levels through a certification process with five general requirements: 1. core lesson exposure 2. life skills application 3. golf skills application 4. life skills knowledge 5. golf knowledge.
Certification is conducted periodically throughout the year during class as well as during separate certification events. Each participant seeking to move to a higher level will need to demonstrate their understanding of the core golf and life skills via written and golf skills assessments.
We offer a variety of programs that engage this curriculum:
In a given year, we provide over 180 days worth of programs.
Our Main Programs:
After-school / Saturday Classes and Camps: We offer after-school programs in the spring and fall at our home facility (Harvey Penick Golf Campus) and at satellite sites in different parts of Austin. Satellite site classes are “OPEN” meaning that most participants in them are at the PLAYER or Par level. Classes offered at HPGC are level-specific, meaning that participants who have achieved a certain level of the program meet at a given time on a week day afternoon or Saturdays. Each spring and fall session runs for 12-weeks and classes meet for 1-2 hours depending on the level.
Camps: We offer summer, spring break and winter break camps at the Harvey Penick Golf Campus
- National School Program
- Academy Foundation Tour
- Youth Forum
- No School Golf School
- LPGA-USGA Girls Golf
- PGA Jr League
- AB Honor Roll
- Team First Tee
- Billy Clagett Scholarship
- National Programs