The First Tee Life Skills Experience

A Youth Program Unlike Any Other

The First Tee emphasizes Nine Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. Through golf and our Nine Core Values, your kids and teens will learn life skills like:

  • Making proper introductions
  • Managing emotions
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Setting up step-by-step goals
  • Planning for the future
  • Appreciating diversity

Advancing through the Program

Classes will have 10 – 15 students and will be divided into groups for a teacher/student ratio of 1:4. Youth ages 5 – 18 progress through different Levels by passing skills assessments called “Certification,” measuring their grasp of The Nine Core Values, Nine Healthy Habits, and golf skills. All participants ages 7+ start at the PLAYer level. Think of our program much like Boy Scouts or Martial Arts, displaying and meeting criteria at each level to move to the next level. Please understand that the Life Skills Experience is not a race, but a marathon. There is no rush or special prize to move through the levels quickly.

  • Target Level (Age 5 and 6 only) – This entry level program for 5 and 6 year olds explores fun, golf-related activities utilizing S.N.A.G. plastic golf equipment.
  • PLAYer Level (required minimum age 7) – Tee up for the first time and learn the game of golf and The First Tee’s Code of Conduct. Certification is required to advance to Par Level.
  • Par Level (recommended minimum age 9) – Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the course. Certification is required to advance to Birdie Level.
  • Birdie Level (recommended minimum age 11) – Emphasis on setting goals and making them a reality. Certification is required to advance to Eagle Level.
  • Eagle Level (recommended minimum age 13) – Learn resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning. Certification is required to advance to Ace Level.
  • Ace (required minimum age 14 or entering 9th grade) – Put it all together and hone in on setting goals, career education, and giving back to the community.

Scholarships are available for families who have financial need.


For learning and skill development to be effective at each level of the Life Skills Experience, coaches must allow sufficient time to ensure concepts are experienced, understood, explored and can be applied in different situations. The certification requirements at each level become progressively more challenging for participants in view of their increased commitment and capabilities. Coaches should keep in mind that, in general, participants should take a minimum of two years at each of the certification levels to master life skills, golf skills and healthy habits required to successfully complete certification.

Certification will be offered at the end of all fall sessions. However, coaches may invite a participant to take a Certification test at the end of any session if they believe the participant is ready to move on to the next level.

Download this PDF to see an example of the Certification skills required to pass each level


The Race to the Road Trip

A  points-based earning system developed to motivate, inspire, and reward

Our First Tee participants can earn points by completing tasks prescribed by First Tee Coaches and Staff. Participants must be 12 – 18 years old, and be registered for at least one Life Skills Experience Session within the designated time period. The Top 4 participants who have accrued the most points at the end of the school year will be invited to an exclusive golf experience outside of the Greater New Orleans Area. Points are awarded as follows:


Number of Points*

Class Attendance 1 point per class
Perfect Attendance 5 points
Serve as a First Tee Junior Instructor 1 point per class
Serve as a First Tee Fundraiser or Outreach Volunteer 2 points per event
Participate in a First Tee Tournament 1 point per event
Attend a First Tee Enrichment Seminar 1 point per event
Submit a First Tee Participant Opportunity Application 2 points per application
Selection for a First Tee Participant Opportunity 5 points per selection

Download the PDF below for the participant point tally through november 22, 2018
*We will update the point total in the beginning of the new year.