Our mission: To encourage and inspire positive values and healthy choices in the next generation of Western New Yorkers through the experience of golf.

Program Overview

The First Tee Life Skills ExperienceTM is a unique experience where participants learn life skills and healthy habits through the game of golf. This is not your traditional junior golf experience. We approach our participants holistically, considering how the program will make a positive, long-term impact on them not just through the game, but in all areas of life.

The The First Tee Life Skills ExperienceTM is divided into five levels, starting with PLAYer for new participants ages 7 and up, progressing through Par, Birdie, Eagle and Ace. As participants certify in both golf and life skills within each level, they progress to the next level of the program. Each level of the Life Skills Experience is seamlessly integrated with our golf skills programming.

Completion of each level is defined as a participant’s ability to meet nationally instituted certification guidelines. The program is self-paced and encourages participants to explore and assess their abilities and set corresponding goals to meet national certification requirements. Certification is conducted periodically throughout the year during class as well as during separate certification events.

FOR PARENTS – We encourage participants and parents to reinforce these behaviors by talking about them, what they mean and what these behaviors look like at home, in school, and in other areas of everyday life.

Program Levels

PLAYer (Recommended starting age 7 or older)

Introduces playing the game of golf with a special emphasis on learning golf and The First Tee Code of Conduct, appreciating the rules and etiquette ofthe game, and The First Tee Nine Core Values.

NOTE: PLAYer is the entry level to The First Tee Life Skills ExperienceTM without exceptions for skill or experience. Opportunities for advancement are offered to experienced participants.

PAR (recommended starting age 9)

Focuses on interpersonal communication and self-management skills.

BIRDIE (recommended starting age 11)

Emphasizes goal-setting.

EAGLE (recommended starting age 13)

Emphasizes resilience skills, conflict resolution and planning for the future.

ACE (recommended minimum age 14 or entering 9th grade)
Once a young person has progressed through all program levels, he/she can become ACE-certified, focusing on setting goals for golf, career, education, and giving back to the community.

• Classes run in four to eight week sessions

• 90 minutes in length

• Participants are required to attend class once per week

• Participants generally spend two years at each level

Completion of each level is defined as a participant’s ability to meet nationally instituted certification guidelines. The program is self-paced and encourages participants to explore and assess their abilities and set corresponding goals to meet national certification requirements. Certification is conducted periodically throughout the year during class as well as during separate certification events.

Upon successful completion of the certification process, participants are prepared for the next level of programming.