About Golf & Life Skills
The focus the First Tee of Northwest Florida is to give young people, ages 6-18, of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity, and sportsmanship.
The Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that separates our program from many other junior golf programs. The Life Skills Experience is used to further enhance and instill the inherent values of the game of golf, and show participants how these values transfer into other aspects of their lives.
Students are taught about responsibility, courtesy, how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences, how to set goals, how to define those goals, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude as well as the importance of showing respect for others.
Through Life Skills Experience, participants learn valuable lessons about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude; how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences and how to define and set goals from the golf course to everyday life.
These lessons for life are taught through a variety of golf-related activities designed with the primary goal of having fun. Participants learn about themselves and others through a range of experiences enhancing their golf skills as well as their fundamental values for life. As their opportunities on the golf course expand, so do the opportunities for their futures.
The First Tee certification levels are PLAYer, Par, Birdie, Eagle, Ace. Each stage introduces young people to different aspects of golf and life skills.
The lessons learned through the Life Skills Experience are lessons that will remain with young people well into their future, regardless of how long they play golf as a recreation.
The First Tee wants everyone who completes The First Tee program to have acquired basic golf skills and to be able to demonstrate certain fundamental life skill concepts – such as interpersonal communication and the importance of rules and etiquette. At each level of the program – PLAYer, Par, Birdie and Eagle – participants will go through a Certification Process testing and evaluating participants’ understanding of and ability to apply what was taught.
Participants will complete a given number of golf and life skills lessons, and play a certain number of rounds on a Chapter course. They also will demonstrate and/or discuss core life skills and basic golf skills for instructors, who evaluate their performance.
The primary objective of the Certification Process is to ensure participants have been exposed to core lesson material and have a basic grasp of the concepts and skills. Certification testing is an opportunity to reinforce those concepts. The process is designed to provide additional assistance to those who need help in certain areas while advancing other students to the next level to acquire more life skills.
If someone is having difficulty with an aspect of the testing process, instructors will help review the material and let him or her try again. Each of the testing and evaluation forms state the specific score required to pass the golf and life skills sections at the PLAYer, Par and Birdie and Eagle levels.
The testing and evaluation for life and golf skills is done at the same time so participants understand the life skills are as important, if not more so, than their golf skills.