Golf Skills? Life Skills? Yes!

Experience is our greatest teacher. First Tee gives kids experiences that are both fun and meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way. Through our golf-based youth development programs, we help kids strengthen their character, learn life skills, build self confidence and prepare to be the leaders of tomorrow… all while learning the game of a lifetime.

Golf for Life Class

Kids learn to golf in our core class – the Golf for Life Class. With a golf curriculum developed by Utah Golf Hall of Fame member and former BYU and UVU golf coach Dr. Sue Nyhus, the Golf for Life Class teaches golf fundamentals and how to play on the course. Depending on a kid’s experience and skill level, Golf for Life Class can be repeated as often as desired to become a better player. Kids stay with their age group and advance in the game at their own pace. 

The Golf for Life Class also teaches the character values and life skills that are inherent in golf, things that will help kids grow up to be successful adults. Character values and life skills are integrated into the golf instruction in ways that are fun and engaging. In the Golf for Life Class kids will learn things that will stay with them for the rest of their lives:

  • Strengthening character values
  • Understanding and managing emotions
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Establishing step-by-step goals
  • Planning for the future
  • Appreciating diversity

Schedules vary at different locations, but Golf for Life Class will generally meet weekly or twice a week for one hour and consist of a session of eight classes.

Advancing through the Program

Kids advance at their own pace at First Tee. They earn “badges” showing the golf skills they have learned, the golf skill accomplishments they have achieved, and the character values and life skills they demonstrate. The badges may be earned quickly, or at a slower pace. They may come in an unexpected order. Each kid is different.  

Our core class, the Golf for Life Class, is the foundation on which First Tee instruction is built. Regardless of experience, each First Tee participant begins with the Golf for Life Class. Golf for Life Class introduces golf fundamentals as well as more advanced golf skills for those kids who are ready, and is always grouped by age. Golf for Life Class also teaches the character values and life skills that make First Tee what it is. 

Advancing in the program takes place as the kids earn their golf badges and character value and life skill badges, which they do at their own pace.

Skill Classes

After completing at least one Golf for Life Class, and with the permission of the Coach, a kid may take any of our specialty skill classes. These classes focus on a specific golf skill a kid would like to learn or improve on, or, in the case of Teen Club, a social and play-oriented class. In each of the skill classes the kids will continue to be taught character values and life skills and will continue to earn golf badges and character value and life skill badges. 

Skill classes are available at the First Tee Utah chapter headquarters at Golf The Round in South Salt Lake, but may or may not be offered at each of the program locations around the state. Please check for details on the Locations page by clicking here. 

The schedule for skill classes may vary by location, but generally they will meet weekly and be sessions of four classes. Skill classes may be repeated as often as a kid would like. 

The skill classes are:

Drain It – A putting class. Focus on the most used, often frustrating, part of the game. Distance. Direction. Reading greens. Strategy. This is about getting the ball in the hole after you’re on the green. 

Save It – A chipping and pitching class. Focus on getting the ball close to the hole when you’re near the green, including bunker play. High, soft pitches. Bump-and-runs. Assessing the situation and choosing what shot to play. This is about keeping shots off your scorecard when you’ve missed the green. 

Bomb It – A driving class. Focus on building and controlling speed in the swing to hit the ball far. The driver. Long and straight. This is about building a strong and reliable full swing. 

Play It – A course strategy class. Focus on taking your skills to the course and playing the game. Game management. When to attack. When to lay up. How to play the game and score, not just hit shots. This is about making a good score and is oriented to those players who want to compete. 

Teen Club – A golf and social experience for teens (junior high and high school). Instruction. A lot of play on the course. Special programs. Social events. This is about preparing for a well-rounded life with golf as a key part of it.