Why Girls + Growing through Golf = Empowerment

Did you know more than 80 percent of First Tee chapters offer programming specifically for girls?  

“Growing up playing golf, I never imagined being in the golf industry,” said Rebecca Caimano, assistant executive director at First Tee — Greater Philadelphia, who joined the chapter in 2011 to help grow its girls programming. “It was tough being the only female who played golf.” 

Now, Rebecca is among thousands of leaders/coaches who are involved in First Tee. 

First Tee views golf as a metaphor for life. It’s not the score that counts, but what you learn along the way. The game is a perfect practice ground for learning skills that extend far beyond the course. Let’s face it, digging deep when things get tough is a natural part of our sport – and life – experiences. 

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary (& Women’s Golf Day), First Tee is proud of the role we’re playing in helping more young girls embrace the sport and what they can learn through it. Thanks to many female coaches and leaders throughout our network – like Rebecca – we are a safe place where girls can come, be themselves and learn from coaches and role models on the course and in the business world.  

Also, thanks to organizations like USGA (a Founding Partner), LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and John Deere, sponsor of the Drive Your Future Academy, a national leadership development opportunity for female First Tee teens, we continue to intentionally offer opportunities for girls’ personal growth and development in many ways.  

Empowering girls for a brighter future 

While many First Tee alumnae have gone on to work in golf, others have excelled in different areas, including medicine, journalism and public affairs. And we think that’s great for them, and for the world around us. 

Studies have shown that women leaders are engaging and collaborative, yet it hasn’t always been easy for women to break into many top leadership roles. Golf can help. 

Ninety percent of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf, according to the PGA of America, and more than half of all businesspeople believe golf is a valuable networking tool. Women executives believe that a background in sport was helpful to career advancement because it prepared them to work better in teams, and behaviors and techniques can be applied to the corporate setting (Women’s Sports Foundation).   

First Tee teaches valuable life skills that can help girls as they become leaders. Through our personal growth and junior golf programs, we encourage girls to build self-confidence that they’ll carry with them into their future.  

“I originally stuck with it [golf] because I wanted to beat my brother,” Rebecca continued. “And now, here I am, using a sport that changed my life to change others.”  

Now, that’s girl power.  

Approximately 25% of First Tee’s coaches are women, and we’d love to increase that number! If you are interested or know of a passionate female leader in your life, please point her here to get involved: https://firsttee.org/get-involved/coach-volunteer/  

Catching Up With the Inaugural First Tee Scholar

Sixteen-year-old First Tee – Lake County (Hammond, Ind.) participant, Steven Outlaw, was notified during the 2001 First Tee Network Summit, the annual gathering of those within the First Tee network, that he was going to have to make his speech earlier than originally scheduled. The events to follow happened in a way that only fate decides.  

Steven describes it as “being in the right place at the right time.” Using one of the first skills instilled into First Tee participants, as well as taught within his own household, on how to properly introduce yourself to others, Steven walked right up to one of the other speakers of the evening, former president of Georgetown College, Dr. William Crouch, and shook his hand. Steven’s demeanor stood out to Dr. Crouch and gave him quite the idea.  

Following Steven’s speech, Dr. Crouch scrapped his own prepared comments and surprised Steven with a full scholarship to Georgetown College and news that he planned to provide a full scholarship to First Tee participants every year following. This full-ride scholarship would alleviate the financial burden of furthering Steven’s education. 

Bob Krause, former vice president of institutional advancement at Kansas State University, followed suit with Dr. Crouch’s pledge. The First Tee Scholars Program was born and set to begin by 2003 with the inaugural class of Scholars, many of whom Steven is still in touch with today.  

L to R: Christopher Hawkins, First Tee – Metro Atlanta alumnus and First Tee Scholar Class of 2003; Adam Ruegg, Troon Golf; Steven Outlaw, First Tee – Lake County alumnus and inaugural First Tee Scholar; Rod Jackson, First Tee – Metro Atlanta alumnus; Brandon White, current Program Director First Tee – Lake County. 

As the inaugural First Tee Scholar, Steven graduated from Georgetown College with a degree in political science. After college, he enrolled in the PGA, PGM Accelerated Program. After completing two levels of the program, he secured an internship with Troon Golf, a leading golf management company. He has since worked with Troon Golf for nearly 15 years, starting in Arizona and traveling overseas to work in the Middle East, and in Malaysia managing The Els Club Teluk Datai (rated #83 in the world by Golf Digest in 2016).   

More recently, Steven serves as the PGA Director of Golf at Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club, managed by Troon Golf.  Steven has been a PGA Class A Professional for more than 10 years and currently serves on the Southwest Section PGA Board of Directors and is very active with Troon’s D&I Council. Going forward, Steven aspires to ascend the ranks in the PGA of America, with a passion specifically around diversity, equity and inclusion and positive change within the game of golf. 

Though Steven had numerous amazing opportunities during his time as a First Tee participant, he now prides himself in exploring what he can do for First Tee as an adult. He works closely with First Tee – Lake County, often supplying the chapter with donations.  

“These opportunities would not have been possible without First Tee and the core values instilled in me such as perseverance and confidence. Much of what I learned during my time with First Tee I use now to strengthen and empower my team. I am forever grateful and honored to be part of such a great organization. I look forward to the future of First Tee and the path they will pave for the next generation.” 

Eleven years after Steven’s speech, the First Tee Scholars Program continues to thrive. It has since received a face-lift following Greg McLaughlin being named First Tee CEO in 2019.  

Relaunching officially in 2020, President George W. Bush, honorary First Tee chair, congratulated the first class of the revamped program. First Tee College Scholarship Program now extends its impact to alumni beyond financial support, providing personal and professional development throughout their post-graduate careers.  

Each of the Scholars is paired with a dedicated, trained adult mentor who helps encourage and guide them throughout the college experience, including virtual and in-person meetups. The program also provides professional development workshops held in-person throughout the year, and up to $5,000 per year toward tuition.   

“First Tee aims to inspire and empower every young person in the program to set goals and begin pursuing them,” said McLaughlin. “The First Tee College Scholarship Program is intended to motivate young people to stay in the program and support alumni as they matriculate through the college.” 

In recognition of First Tee’s 25th anniversary, the Class of 2022 includes 25 First Tee Scholars. This time, Steven Outlaw has turned the tables, joining as a mentor to one of the Scholars.   

“I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by great professionals as I progressed through my time with the First Tee.  These individuals helped me grow not only in golf, but personally and professionally.  I consider myself lucky to be able to return the favor to the next generation!” 

We believe in helping youth succeed – on the golf course and in life. Learn more about our programs and how you can get involved. 

Three Ways to Help Kids Develop a Positive Self Identity

Experiences are our greatest teachers. They shape how we treat others, how we see the world around us, and how we view ourselves. How we view ourselves is also known as our self identity and is defined as the qualities and potential you possess. It can influence the choices you make, the attitude you have day-to-day, and ultimately, it becomes your inner voice. For youth especially, a positive self identity can have a massive impact on who they become as adults. There are many ways parents can help their kids develop a positive self identity, and at First Tee we pride ourselves in nurturing a positive self identity for youth. Here are three ways you can help your kids develop a positive self identity inspired by our core values. 

Live Your Values

Kids watch and learn from the adults in their lives every day. Studying their actions and responses, they develop their identity based on their guardians and the other mentors in their life. If you live according to the values you want your kids to have, then they are more likely to absorb that into their own independent lives. That being said, having a mentor is a great way to ensure this happens. At First Tee,youth learn from their coaches by:

  • Treating others with respect and honesty 
  • Experiencing the value of teamwork, not just by being told to act as a team but by witnessing their coach lead with teamwork. 
  • Watching their coaches exercise positive self talk and kindness to others around them brings out the best in themselves and their self identity.  

Create a Culture of Acceptance

When there is no room for failure there is no room for growth. Fostering an environment that is not only safe for kids to fail but encourages them to try again, helps kids develop a strong sense of self. Acceptance also transcends just failure; it also means that every person, regardless of their background, is welcome. We work together to actively create a space of belonging for every kid— no matter what walk of life. Through example we encourage youth to accept their team members for who they are, treat each other with kindness, and create that culture of acceptance everywhere, so that when they reflect on themselves and their own identity they treat themselves with the same level of respect and positivity that they give others.

Empowerment Through Experiences

For kids, experiences shape their inner voice that gives them confidence and character. Not all experiences in life are easy, and when we empower youth to persevere and stay true to themselves, we bring out the best that’s inside of them. First Tee exists to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. As time goes on, that empowerment creates a strong sense of self, and encourages a positive self identity even in difficult situations. 

Though a positive self identity may seem like something only some people are born with, it is really something that can be cultivated through leading by example, an open culture of acceptance, and consistent empowerment through all experiences. What do you want your child’s inner voice to sound like when they grow up? Nurturing their self identity can make all the difference in that. We guide kids and teens to strengthen what’s inside and put it into action. If you are interested in getting your child involved with First Tee, you can learn more and sign up today! 

Building Understanding, Trust and Empathy with Active Listening

Every conversation can be an opportunity to learn something new, build trust with someone, and deepen connections. This happens when we build the skill of active listening and learn to treat listening as an active process – not a passive one. 

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. It’s about being present, listening to understand (not respond), and showing active interest and engagement in the dialogue.  

Why does it matter? 

Active listening is an important skill for all of us to cultivate. Not only is it an important leadership skill, it has been shown to promote mindful thinking, can reduce anxiety and depression, helps build relationships and can promote empathy.  

How do we practice it?

At First Tee, we use a process called A-L-R to help build connection through active listening. This helps us to deepen conversations, keep them going, and get the most out of them. Here’s how A-L-R works:

  • Asking questions: Asking thoughtful questions is not only a way you can keep the conversation going, but it gives you a deeper understanding of the person or topic you are engaging with. 
    • Helpful Tip: Be curious. Try asking questions that dig a bit deeper: How did they feel in that moment? What was going on in their minds during that experience? What would they do differently the next time? These make the conversation richer, rather than closed-ended questions that are typically answered with a simple Yes or No.  
  • Listening to understand: When you ask a question, it is important to listen carefully to what the person is saying. We can sometimes be fixated on what we are going to say next, or when it’s our turn to jump back into the conversation, but try not to think about what you are going to say next.. Your focus is on them and their perspective rather than your own. 
    • Helpful Tip: Make an effort to try to clear your mind first of any distracting thoughts. It can help to jot down a mental or physical note of things on your mind in order to give your full attention. 
  • Reflect & respond to the reply: Keep the conversation going by responding in a way that connects with what they just said. You can try to restate in your own words what the person said, share what you think or feel about it, or ask another open-ended question that connects with what the person just said.
    • Helpful Tip: Show engagement and interest in what they are saying: look them in the eye when they are talking, use body language like nodding your head.


Active listening requires work, but you’ll be surprised at how much reward there is when you approach conversations and communication with this skill. Active listening is just one of the skills we are supporting kids and teens to build at First Tee. Click here to find out more about our programs.

4 Ways To Encourage Positive Thinking In Kids

We all deal with highs and lows in life. Even as kids, we experience a variety of emotions that have a direct impact on our choices, and the way we think about ourselves. A bad experience can result in negative thinking which can be detrimental to a young person’s self confidence and outlook on life. That’s why positive thinking is so powerful— not just for adults but kids as well. Maintaining a positive attitude can be challenging at times, but through practice and encouragement it becomes a skill that can shape and transform young lives.

Just as you exercise your swing before hitting the ball, it’s important to practice things that can promote positive thinking. Our minds are valuable tools, and maintaining a healthy and positive headspace can improve confidence and drive in all aspects of life.

Here are four ways that you can encourage positive thinking in your kids:

  1. Always Give Your Best Effort – Parents and mentors should encourage kids to give their best effort as often as possible. At First Tee, we believe that it is important to help kids show up to the challenge, and develop the resilience and inner strength needed to give their best effort on and off the golf course. If kids can give their best effort in all of their endeavors, they will be able to realize what they are truly capable of. This can directly improve their confidence, and help them develop a positive attitude about the world around them.
  1. Give Back To Your Community – Giving back to your community, or causes that you care about is another great way to maintain a positive mindset. Volunteering can help your family connect with others who hold similar values and beliefs. Even activities as simple as tutoring someone on the weekend, or pulling a neighbor’s weeds can have a tremendous effect on the community you live in. When kids can see that their actions can make a positive difference in the world, they will be more likely to feel positively about themselves, and their community.
  1. Practice Positive Self-Talk – Parents and mentors should show kids the importance of being gentle with themselves and others. A great way to help kids develop this skill is to tell them to talk to themselves as if they are talking to their best friend. If they wouldn’t say something mean to their friend or loved one, they shouldn’t say it to themselves. The way we think directly impacts our behavior and feelings about the world. If kids can think positively about themselves, they will likely feel the same way about the world around them.
  1. Take Ownership & Responsibility For Your Actions – Helping kids realize they have control over the outcomes of the challenges they face can help build confidence and reduce overall anxiety. Reducing anxiety and practicing problem-solving skills at a young age can have a huge effect on how their mindset develops through the rest of their lives. Raising confident kids is one of the best ways to help encourage positive thinking.

First Tee guides kids and teens to strengthen what’s inside them and put it into action. It’s a priority for us to show young people the value of caring for their social and emotional wellness. So when they step up to the next shot, math test, or presentation they have the strength to move forward, aim further, and finish stronger than the last time.

If you are interested in getting your child involved with First Tee, you can learn more and sign up today.

The Impact Of Having A Good Mentor

Having someone that you can look up to and go to for support is one the most important things a kid can have. Mentors give youth (and even adults) the confidence they need to confront challenges and come up with their own solutions. They provide a safe place for kids and teens to be themselves and have fun, while also learning valuable life skills.  

A great mentor has many traits— they can be a role model, cheerleader, policy enforcer, advocate, and friend to the students they work with. First Tee mentors have a sincere desire to be involved with their students, and treat them with respect. They practice active listening skills and empathy, while also seeking solutions and opportunities for those they work with. 

We celebrate each of our coaches, and recognize them for the unique role they play in young lives. In fact, research shows that First Tee participants think of their coaches as more than just teachers and counselors, but real mentors who have made a positive difference in their lives. 

Here are four ways a mentor impacts their mentees that were inspired and created by what our junior golfers have to say about their coaches:

1. Mentors show that you can never stop learning

They are always growing and showcasing that to their mentees who can feel inspired by how they adapt to life’s challenges.

“I constantly heard that sport emulates life, and life emulates sports. I didn’t understand this concept until I started the First Tee program. Through this sport, I learned accountability and responsibility for my actions and how to respond to adversity.  These lessons have affected my thinking about the impact I have on those around me and how important it is for me to strive to be my best self.”  – Quincy Crawford, participant, 2021 Scholar

2. Mentors help inspire students to be game-changers

Not just for themselves, but in their everyday lives and especially with their peers.

“Having an amazing mentor through the First Tee who I have developed a strong relationship with has inspired me to help others find mentors that can help them through their education and career.”Remi Shendell, participant, First Tee Scholar

3. Mentors teach the importance of active listening

Not only do they offer support, but they show how valuable it can be to listen to someone in both good and bad times.

“Coach Mary Beth McGirr has been a major influence in my life, helping me with golf and with learning critical life skills that will aid me throughout my life. She took me under her wing and has been a shining example for me to follow. Additionally, as a woman, she has been an amazing mentor and example of a strong, confident female for me to look up to and admire. Coach Mary Beth has been one of my biggest fans and encourages me to do my best. She takes time to talk about my golf, life, family and personal struggles. She has been an excellent example of a strong leader and businesswoman who consistently gives back to the game and the community.” –  Alyssa Caraballo, The First Tee of Roanoke Valley

4. Mentors guide students to lead by example

It’s easy to tell someone what to do, but more impactful to give students the tools and examples they need to come to their own solutions.

“Coach Donnie Caldwell, PGA has given me great advice with my golf but more importantly, in my life. He has told me ‘make choices today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow.’ I used to just make choices that seemed the easiest or most convenient. But now I take time to think about those big decisions and how my choices may also affect others. Without him and his advice, I don’t know where I would be with my life, and that’s scary. He has made me a better person and he has shown me how to make the most of my life.” – Braxton Caldwell, First Tee of Pine Mountain

As you can see, the impact of a great mentor is one of our strongest tools in life. Our mentors work to guarantee students that there is someone who cares about them and who will assure them they are not alone in dealing with challenges. Offered at more than 1,200 locations, our program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches, or as our participants say— mentors! 

Check with your local chapter about how you can become a mentor to a junior golfer in your community.

Quick 9: Denise W

Mentoring

Denise W, First Tee – San Francisco 

1. Why is mentorship important?

It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed, especially since we now live in an extremely fast-paced world where expectations for us are very high, so having a mentor to guide us through our development process is definitely reassuring.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

Listening and being able to communicate effectively are qualities that make someone a good mentor. With such qualities, a mentor will be able to offer constructive feedback which will aid in a mentee’s future development.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

My mom has definitely been the most impactful mentor for me.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

From my mom, I learned that no matter what the circumstances are, hard work pays off. My mom immigrated to the U.S. in hopes to find better future prospects for the family and despite not knowing any English, she still continued to work hard in the U.S. to achieve her goals. In the end, all of her hard work and efforts paid off because she was able to provide the basic necessities for our family and grant my siblings and I access to a higher education.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

My mom always tells me, “Don’t be afraid of failure. Just go for it!” These are words that I will always remember because they encourage me to try new things, even if I don’t necessarily succeed. It’s a way of telling me that failure is a learning experience and if I fail, I can keep trying.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Yes, I have grown as a result of my mom. Her guidance has helped me become more disciplined and more open to new experiences and opportunities. Without her, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

For me, being a mentor is very meaningful and fulfilling because not only am I able to help others, I am also able to develop myself further as a leader.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Find someone who cares about you and is willing to take the time out of their busy day to listen to your needs and help you.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that both the mentor and mentee are learners. Both rely on each other as a resource for new perspectives and knowledge. It’s not a one way relationship where only the mentor is helping the mentee.

Quick 9: Ricky L.

Mentoring

Ricky L., First Tee – Tri Valley

1. Why is mentorship important?

Mentorship is important because it allows a chain of knowledge and wisdom from years of experience from mentors to be passed down to mentees, unlocking their potential. Mentorship gives underprivileged students guidance to take control of their own life.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

A great mentor is someone who has as much common ground with the mentee as possible, such as similar circumstances, college, passions, and career trajectory. More importantly, a great mentor actively listens to the mentee, providing insightful feedback, advice, or opportunities in return.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

The mentor I have been paired with from the First Tee Scholarship, Jim Smith from Morgan Stanley, has been an amazing mentor, a key guide through all my academic, career, and spiritual difficulties.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

Through our monthly discussions together over the past year, Mr. Smith has given me an abundance of wisdom from his years of experience in becoming a Senior Wealth Portfolio Manager. Also, his advice has helped me get past my choice paralysis in deciding career pathways and majors in college.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

When I hear about Mr. Smith’s stories of his journey in finding, developing, and maintaining both a loyal client basis and talented team through ups and downs, I am inspired. Additionally, Mr. Smith provides so many life tools, advice, and books/video recommendations to help me stay on a healthy path and achieve career goals.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Because of Mr. Smith, I have learned to prioritize my different goals and face my reality with a clear mind. Although remaining open to life, I truly want to serve the world, my community, and my family while also pursuing my passions in computer science, finance, and fitness.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

Being a mentor to someone is a true honor to me because I can impact someone’s life so personally. I am in Harvard’s Chinese Student Association, and as a sophomore, I am a mentor to freshmen paired with me. Although it can be worrying wondering if you are providing value to your mentees, remember that simply listening and sharing your experience can help them out.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Be open to all mentors, even if they may not align with you in certain aspects such as passions, hobbies, career path, or academic major. Hearing a different perspective may change your mind and open new pathways that you may have not considered. Listen to what your mentor truly has to say and keep asking questions.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that mentorship comes from a genuine care to better the world and your community, and that most often, mentees become mentors to future generations. Mentorship keeps the spirit of the First Tee alive as older students come back to volunteer their time to help their chapters.

Looking Back on the First Tee Leadership Summit

This August, we held our first ever First Tee Leadership Summit in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch in Montana. This event took place for two weeks, bringing together 20 teens each week from across the country to develop leadership skills through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities. Through collaborative workshops, First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience played a huge part of the experience, to explore the concepts of relationship building, positive risk taking, and character evaluation. We recently caught up with participant Benjamin Parris from First Tee – Denver to hear how this year’s event impacted him.

Benjamin Parris, First Tee – Denver

In Denver, I often hear the amazing experiences fellow participants have when they return from First Tee national events. Until the first week of August 2021, I had never experienced one for myself and I was not quite sure what to expect when I was selected for The First Tee Leadership Summit in Partnership with the PGA TOUR Superstore at Mr. Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I knew it would be a special week as I was immediately greeted by fellow participants and alumni chaperones. When we arrived at West Creek, even more participants were eager to greet us and introduce themselves. I knew I had formed relationships almost immediately, and those only got better as the week went on. At the summit, we got to participate in activities such as horseback riding, archery, white water rafting, and other spectacular outdoor experiences. Also, during our days, we had the opportunities to listen to guest speakers like Dick Sullivan (CEO of the PGA TOUR Superstore), Ralph Stokes (the PGA TOUR Superstore’s Director of Partnership Marketing and former University of Alabama running back), Joe Shepard (a PGA TOUR Superstore Regional Manager), Stacie Monks (a PGA TOUR Superstore District Manager), and our keynote speaker Michael Vick (former NFL quarterback). We learned lessons in values, teamwork, skill sets, representation, and more. Each day at the summit had a different theme. Our themes were: “relationships are the foundation for leadership,” “positive risk taking,” and “my character is me.” While our speakers were able to give us insightful words and stories on these themes, we learned just as much from our outdoor experiences as we did from our speakers. On Tuesday, we focused on relationships and how trust is the foundation of every successful relationship. After hearing from Dick Sullivan and Michael Vick, six participants, including myself, departed for the ropes course while everyone else elected to horseback ride. When we arrived, we immediately had to build a relationship as we picked partners to ascend on a partner climb up a 30-foot wooden ladder. My partner Sam Gibbs from the First Tee of Fort Worth deserves a quick shoutout for putting her trust in me all week from the second we became partners at the ropes course. On Wednesday, we worked on taking positive risks. My first risk of the day was waking up at 6:30 after a late night to go on a sunrise hike. Let me tell you, the views in Montana were spectacular, it was very much worth the risk of not sleeping in. Later that day I took another risk by going on a 3-hour horseback excursion, by far the longest I had ever been near another animal, besides my dog at home. My biggest takeaway from learning about positive risks were to approach people who think differently than you so you can challenge your own thinking and to seek out your own mentorships. On Thursday, our final full day at the summit, we did a lot of self-reflection while thinking about how to own our characters. Stacie Monks began the day after another gorgeous sunrise hike. She posed the following question to all the participants. “What type of leader do you want to be?” She went onto discuss how to create a culture when you are leading others and how to empower them. Later that morning we had perhaps the hardest task of the entire summit, but also to me the most impactful. We were asked to complete this phrase. “This is what I believe about myself as a leader…” This wasn’t a simple sentence to complete, and to really answer the question, it required more than just a few sentences. To complete the thought, I had to reflect upon all the things I had been through that week at West Creek. I had to think about climbing with a partner, taking leaps of faith, the inspiration I had received from our speakers and workshops, and what I had learned from all the people around me. Later that evening, we sat around the fire pit as we listened and shared all 18 of us has discovered about ourselves as leaders. My favorite part of the leadership summit was the comradery all of the participants formed. I got the opportunity to make 17 new friends, who over the course of the week felt like family. I know that I’ll be keeping in touch with them for years and years to come and can’t wait until I can see them again. For me, the week made me feel like a true member of the greater First Tee family. I had never met a fellow participant from outside of Colorado, but now I feel like I’m connected to the First Tee everywhere I go. I can’t wait to stay involved with the program as I go to college and beyond. I want to thank the First Tee, PGA TOUR Superstore and West Creek Ranch staff one final time for giving me what was truly a life changing experience. The programming was phenomenal, and the experiences were irreplicable. I came back home truly knowing what type of leader I am and how I can continue to grow as a leader. I can’t wait to apply what I learned in Montana to our local programs in Denver as well as other extracurriculars I participate in. I feel honored that I was a part of the inaugural summit.

Summer Program Cancellation Notice

Hello First Tee Community, Regretfully, due to the ongoing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to cancel our summer classes. Due to the gathering size and physical distancing restrictions we cannot resume normal class operations until we move to Phase 3 of the governor’s reopening plan. We are continuing to work diligently to come up with a plan for getting some programming options available as soon as possible. We are hopeful that if things improve, we can have a fall session of classes beginning in September. We are also looking at the possibility of offering some small classes at our First Tee Indoor Learning Center. We remain committed to putting the health and safety of our youth and adults first. If you have previously registered for the spring session and were rolled over to the summer session, we will be contacting you soon about possible options. Thank you for the support you give the First Tee which allows us to impact our community through youth development programs. Sincerely, Todd Todd Sturgis | Executive Director| The First Tee of the Inland Northwest PO Box 14233, Spokane, WA 99214 Cell: 509.385.1871 | Fax: 509.621.1540 [email protected]  

The First Tee of the Inland NW Indoor Learning Center

Welcome to The First Tee of the Inland NW Indoor Learning Center!  What a process it has been to build out a 9 hole putting green, chipping area and driving range!  Our putting green was built with 9,000 pounds of sand!  We can now teach our golfers everything they would learn outside on the golf course (with the exception of bunker play) ALL YEAR ROUND!  Snow and rain won’t keep those wanting to be part of our Life Skills/Golf Skills Experience from participating in the winter!  First classes will be held January 2020!
DRILLING HOLES FOR THE PUTTING GREEN
9,000 POUNDS OF SAND!
BUILDING THE PUTTING GREEN WITH 9000 POUNDS OF SAND
LAYING THE SAND ON THE TURF
 
PUTTING UP THE NETS FOR THE DRIVING RANGE
PUTTING UP THE NETS FOR THE DRIVING RANGE
 
FINISHED!
WELCOME TO THE INDOOR LEARNING CENTER!
   

Thank You!

Hello Everyone,
What a great start to The First Tee’s spring season! We want to take a minute to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting what we do in so many different ways.
Thank you to our sponsors and those who attended our 9th Annual Dinner and Auction on April 12. In one night we raised over $93,000 in net proceeds for The First Tee! We can’t say THANK YOU enough to those who made the event such a great evening, and for those who came to the event and financially supported what we do!
Our enrollments are growing, and we have players that run a wide range of experience in golf. We have kids playing in the Greater Spokane League high school golf tournaments, to our youngest kids who are just learning the game.
The First Tee kids are also enjoying the golf community in some unique ways, as we had over 50 kids who participated in the Easter Egg Hunt that was held at the Esmeralda Golf Course on April 20! A big thank you to Rob Sanders and the folks at Esmeralda for including The First Tee kids in that great event!
Finally, as we are launching into our spring and summer season we are already looking ahead to fall and winter as we are working hard to bring The First Tee Indoor Learning Center online to make it possible for us to teach golf skills and life skills all year long! We’re really excited about making that happen, so stay tuned!
Thank you again for all you do to help The First Tee serve our kids and families!
Best,
Todd
Executive Director
The First Tee of the Inland Northwest