Is The First Tee a junior golf program?

The First Tee’s purpose is to give young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.

The First Tee of Greater Austin is a chapter within The First Tee network. It is independently owned and operated.

What is the mission of The First Tee of Greater Austin?

The mission of The First Tee of Greater Austin is to 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.

How is this a character education program?

Life skills and healthy habits are taught seamlessly through the game of golf in our program. Students progress through the program by passing both a life skills and a golf skills assessment, moving from Player to Par to Birdie to Eagle to Ace. Our character education helps young people prepare for success in high school, college and life.

Life skills taught include self-management, goal setting, dealing with adversity and interpersonal communications. Healthy habits taught include: energy, play, safety, vision, mind, family, friends, school and community.

Who are our participants?

Our participants are young people, ages 5 – 17, who hail from all parts of the Greater Austin area. Previous golf knowledge is not required.

What programs do we offer?

  • Year-round after-school & Saturday classes (each class is 1-2 hours and each session runs 12 weeks)
  • Winter, spring, and summer break camps (camps run from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm for 3-4 days)
  • No School Golf School (single day camp when school is out of session on federal holidays)
  • In-school program at 16 area elementary and middle schools (called National School Program)
  • LPGA-USGA Girls Golf (a gender specific program for girls ages 6 – 17)
  • PGA Jr. League (a national program where golf becomes a team sport and players compete in team matchplay)
  • Spring, Summer and Fall Foundation Tour (introductory experiences to competitive golf)
  • Interclub (competitive match play between our participants and players from area courses)
  • Youth Forum (round table for higher-level students to learn about college golf and TFT national opportunities)
  • Billy Clagett Scholarship (reserved for higher-level students to compete in area STPGA events)
  • DRIVE program (via the City of Austin)
  • National Opportunities via our home office (The First Tee): Nature Valley Open at Pebble Beach, Coca-Cola Futures Program, Player Advanced Academy, Leadership Academy and more.

Who leads the classes?

Each program is directed by a First Tee-trained Lead Instructor who is assisted by trained volunteer coaches who direct lesson plans in smaller groups. TFTGA has over 75 active coaches who work with various levels of classes and programs.

What is our enrollment?

Fall & Spring after-school programs and summer camp enrollment for 2014: 961 students.
National School Program (in-school) and DRIVE (partnership with COA): 9,213 students.
Where are we located?

We host the majority of our programs at our course – The Harvey Penick Golf Campus – located at 5501 Ed Bluestein Blvd (next door to the East Communities YMCA. Our office is also located on site.

We also host our after-school programs at Balcones C.C., Falconhead G.C., Golfsmith, and Onion Creek C.C.

What days do you offer your after-school programs?

Most of our after-school programs take place on Saturdays at Harvey Penick Golf Campus. Other days include Monday (Young Guns at HPGC), Tuesdays (Balcones C.C.), Wednesdays (Falconhead G.C.; HPGC), Thursdays (Onion Creek C.C.). Learn more about our fall class line up here.

Does my child need to have clubs?

Students in our program are not required to provide their own set of clubs. We lend clubs to students in our program – parents can request clubs during registration. Once a student demonstrates his or her commitment to the program, the student is able to take the clubs home (and demonstrate responsibility by bringing them back!)

What is the dress code?

We do not require that students wear collared shirts but they should be in attire that would be appropriate for school.

How much does it cost?

It depends on the program but our offerings cost anywhere from $0 – $250. We offer sibling discounts and early bird rates on most of our programs. We also offer scholarships.

How are funds raised for the organization?

100% of participants in the program receive some level of scholarship to participate. We raise funds through special events like: the 9 Core Values Luenchone, our More Than A Game Celebrity Golf Tournament, The Players Book, Clays to Benefit Kids Skeet Shootout and the Omar Uresti Invitational. Other funds are generated via foundation and individual gifts. TFTGA also owns and operates the Harvey Penick Golf Campus – thus every round at the golf course serves to help TFTGA programs.

As an adult, how can I help out at The First Tee of Greater Austin?

There are many opportunities to get involved with The First Tee of Greater Austin, including:

  • Coaching (you don’t have to be a golf pro to be a role model for our participants)
  • Volunteering (we need help with our various fundraising events and in office projects)
  • Donating equipment (drop off old clubs or golf balls at Harvey Penick Golf Campus. We provide donation receipts)
  • Donating services or products (we run an annual auction to raise money for our program and accept donations for our golf course; contact smingos@firstteeaustin.org)
  • Donating funds