The Inspiration for Our Junior Golf Program
Bringing Golf to Kids & Teens of All Backgrounds
In 1997, the LGPA, Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA formed a partnership with the help of Founding Corporate Partner, Shell Oil, to lead an initiative called the First Tee. This initiative began as a way to bring golf to kids and teens that otherwise would not be exposed to the game or its positive values.
Not Just About Golf
What started as a concept to make golf more accessible to young people, turned into an opportunity to help ALL young people develop core values and implement healthy habits that are inherent to the game of golf. The First Tee Life Skills Experience was formulated with the help of scholars, sports psychologist, youth developers and golf experts to proactively teach core values and life skills as part of basic golf instruction at chapters.
Expanding Junior Golf Programs Into Schools
In 2004, the First Tee expanded their reach by introducing their golf program and the First Tee Life Skills Experience™ in physical education classes at elementary schools through the National School Program. In 2013, the First Tee created their DRIVE Program, which reaches children within youth-serving organizations, helping to impact their lives by introducing them to the First Tee Core Values and Healthy Habits.
Since our inception in 1997, the First Tee has grown into a powerful youth service organization impacting the lives of more than 10 million young people and exposing them to core values, healthy habits, and life skills that will help them both on and off the course.
The First Tee—Central Carolina was the vision of Winston-Salem businessman Jeffery Howard. Programming began to be offered in March of 2008 and by the end of that year more than one thousand children had been exposed to The First Tee message through after-school and outreach programs. Since that time the First Tee—Central Carolina has grown exponentially. In 2019, over 1,500 children participated in the First Tee-Central Carolina programming, and nearly 70,000 students were part of the National School Program (NSP).