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Our Mission – what we do
The mission of The First Tee of Orange County is to positively impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
The First Tee of Orange County is a youth development organization that introduces golf and its inherent values to young people. Through our programs, we help shape the lives of kids and teens by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf – and it’s making a difference. Our research-proven programs are having a positive impact on participants, their families and their communities.
The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and it Founding Partners are the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA Tour and the USGA. Shell Oil Company is The First Tee’s Founding Corporate Partner and Johnson & Johnson is its Legacy Partner. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.
Golf and Life Skills– a seamless experience
The First Tee’s programs are designed to help young people understand and ultimately develop Nine Core Values:
Honesty Respect Perseverance
Integrity Confidence Courtesy
Sportsmanship Responsibility Judgment
Our curriculum was developed by experts in the field of youth development through sport and is delivered by caring adults (coaches) who have been formally trained at The First Tee of Orange County.
At The First Tee of Orange County, golf and life lessons are seamlessly incorporated into each experience. In addition to learning fundamentals of the golf swing and the game, a sample of life skills lessons include:
- Interpersonal Skills – Proper introduction when meeting someone new and how to effectively communicate with others.
- – Techniques for managing thoughts and emotions.
- – Setting attainable goals to reach desired dreams.
- – Strategies to adapt to, manage and overcome challenges.
Program Class Descriptions – something for all
Young people progress through our programs by moving through levels that introduce new and more advanced concepts of golf and life skills. We offer 9-week class sessions in the Fall, Winter and Spring. We offer one week golf camps in the Summer.
- TARGET(4-6 years old)This class is high action and fun for children and designed to instill curiosity and enthusiasm for the game with age-appropriate activities.
- PLAYer (required minimum age 7)
Introduces the game of golf with special emphasis on learning golf and The First Tee Code of Conduct, appreciating the rules and etiquette of the game, and developing a game plan for golf and life.
Every participant that enrolls at The First Tee of Orange County must start at this level. There are three sub-levels within PLAYer depending on the participants age when they start our programs:
- PLAYer 3 is for ages 7-8
- PLAYer 6 is for ages 9-11
- PLAYer 9 is for ages 12-18
- PAR (recommended minimum age 9)Focuses on interpersonal communication and self-management skills. Development of swing fundamentals and proficiency in putting and short game skills are also emphasized.
- BIRDIE (recommended minimum age 11)Emphasizes goal setting and further development of swing fundamentals and increased proficiency in putting and short game skills are also emphasized.
- EAGLE (recommended minimum age 13)Emphasizes resilience skills, conflict resolution and planning for the future. There is a focus more on group and community interaction.
- ACE (required 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 and education, and giving back to the community.
- LPGA/USGA Girls Golf
This program provides an opportunity for girls to learn to play golf, build lasting relationships, and experience competition in a fun, supportive environment, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment of the game. Golf instruction is specific to each girl’s playing ability.