PLAYer is the introductory level of The First Tee Life Skills Experience for children ages 7-17 years old. All participants (regardless of age or previous ability) will enter The First Tee Golf and Life Skills Experience at the PLAYer level. PLAYer teaches participants how to play the game of golf with special emphasis on learning golf, The First Tee Code of Conduct, and The First Tee Nine Core Values™. These interpersonal and self-management skills will help out participants develop much more than their golf games.
The Par Level builds on the PLAYer level by introducing PLAYers to life skills that will help them both on and off the golf course. The main focus of the Par level is to assist PLAYers in acquiring several self-management techniques and interpersonal skills that will help them in managing their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to perform at their best both on and off the golf course.
Of all of the life skills addressed in The First Tee Life Skills Experience, goal-setting is one of the most important. The Birdie level affords PLAYers the opportunity to learn how to set and pursue their own goals. This will provide PLAYers with a greater sense of purpose, direction, and motivation in their lives.
The Eagle Level is designed for PLAYers who have demonstrated a commitment to both the game of golf and to attaining the associated set of Golf and Life Skills. An Eagle Level participant will learn about wellness, diversity, building go-to teams, and conflict management.
The Ace Level offers advanced instruction and practice in many of the Golf and Life Skills introduced in the PLAYer, Par, Birdie, and Eagle levels. Ace focuses on personal planning and reinforces interpersonal communication, self-management, goal-setting, self-coaching, and resilience skills that were applied in the earlier levels on The first Tee Like Skills Experience.
To progress from one certification level to the next, PLAYers must complete a variety of Golf and Life Skills evaluations.
PLAYer Level: Written Golf/Life Skills test, Putting and Playing Requirements
Par Level: Written Golf Skills Test, Written Life Skills Test, Putting, Short game, Approach, Fairways, and Playing Requirement
Birdie Level: Written Golf Skills Test, Written Life Skills Test, Putting, Short game, Approach, Fairways, and Playing Requirement
Eagle Level: Written Golf Skills Test, Written Life Skills Test, Putting, Short game, Approach, Fairways, and Playing Requirement
Each level’s requirements get more difficult as they program is meant to grow and expand with the child’s development.
There are also age minimums that must be met to move up on to each level:
PLAYer: 7 years old* to enter
Par: 9 years old* to enter
Birdie: 11 years old* to enter
Eagle: 13 years old* to enter
Ace: 14 years old* to enter
* Age during the registered programming cycle.
With the enthusiastic support of Dr. Randall Dozier, Superintendent of the Georgetown County Schools, the National School Program is active in all of the county’s 10 elementary schools, plus Coastal Montessori, impacting over 4500 students. NSP is taught by the Physical Education Teachers as a part of their curriculum, and is the official Youth Development Program for Georgetown County Schools.
The School Day Program, piloted in 2012, now includes all Georgetown County elementary schools and the Montessori Learning Center. Nine times per school year, our volunteers work with fourth grade classes, and their Physical Education teachers, at a green-grass facility during a 60-minute class centered on The First Tee Nine Core Values™, using golf as the medium. Over 850 Georgetown County 4th graders participate in School Day Programs.
The School Day Program culminates with the Champions Challenge, held at Wedgefield Plantation. Eleven elementary schools select a team of 14 fourth graders (7 girls, 7 boys) to compete in a skills challenge, with a total of 154 youth participating in the event.
With the blessing of Dr. Rick Maxey, Superintendent of Horry County Schools, The First Tee of The Grand Strand has expanded the National School Program to 14 of the 25 elementary schools in Horry County. Our goals include hosting one or more Champions Challenge events and, ultimately expanding the NSP to all 25 elementary schools in Horry County.
The First Tee of The Grand Strand has expanded After School and Saturday programs to provide access to golf, fun and the First Tee Nine Core Values™ for all interested youth. After School & Saturday programs are now offered at eight locations with over 150 youth attending the Spring and Fall sessions.
In partnership with the Grand Strand Miracle Leagues, First Tee of The Grand Strand provides golf instruction for Special Needs children and adults in the Fall, utilizing the Miracle League’s facility at All Star Park.
The Future Generations Tournament is the cornerstone event for The First Tee of The Grand Strand, recognizing the contribution of our major sponsors and our The First Tee participants who have exhibited The First Tee Nine Core Values™ while honing their golf skills. Held annually at the Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, and co-hosted by Kelly Tilghman and Charlie Rymer of The Golf Channel, The FGT features a The First Tee of The Grand Strand youth participant in each group.
Like all The First Tee programs, The First Tee of The Grand Strand exists at the pleasure of the local community. Virtually all of our funding is generated locally via individual and corporate donations, grants and fundraising events such as the Future Generations Tournament. To support The First Tee of The Grand Strand, simply click on the Donate button to use either PayPal or a credit card.
For more information, please contact:
Patrick O’Brien, Program Director: Patrick@TheFirstTeeTheGrandStrand.Org