How Do You Use The First Tee Nine Core Values?

Categories: Blog, Character Education, The First Tee Nine Core Values

What are The First Tee Nine Core Values? To us, it’s our bread and butter. It’s the nine concepts that you’ll find in every golf lesson, drill and opportunity kid’s experience at The First Tee. They are the values inherent to the game of golf:

  • Honesty – reporting your own score and calling penalties on yourself
  • Integrity – being responsible for your actions on the golf course, even when no one is looking
  • Sportsmanship – observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace
  • Respect – showing respect for oneself, playing partners, competitors, the golf course and traditions of the game
  • Confidence – increasing confidence in your ability by being positive
  • Responsibility – being responsible for your actions on the golf course, including reparing balls marks and keeping up pace of play
  • Perseverance – to succeed in golf, players must continue through bad breaks and their own mistakes
  • Courtesy – starting and ending a game of golf with a handshake between competitors
  • Judgment – deciding strategy, club selection and when to play safe and when to take a chance

We not only teach these values through experience-based learning out on the golf course but by also reinforcing to kids and parents how these values look at home and in school.

We could talk all day about how we teach these values, but why not hear from some of our participants on how their favorite core value has impacted their lives.

How do you apply the core values to your life?

Brinkley Beever, The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas
I didn’t play competitive golf until my freshman year in high school. Although my experience level was extremely low, I knew with determination and athletic ability I could eventually compete. I played in several tournaments and noticed girls cheating. It frustrated me, especially when I found myself in a situation where my ball moved as I set my club down behind it. No one was around to see it, but I knew it was a penalty. I took the penalty and ended up losing that match by 1 stroke.

Braxton Caldwell, The First Tee of Pine Mountain
Perseverance represents me the most because when I was a young child, my biological mother was sentenced to 47 years in prison. A lot of people could use that as an excuse to make bad decisions or to not apply themselves 100%. I have used it as motivation to show other people like me that it is possible to be a successful person and not have had the perfect childhood.

Tyler Kim, The First Tee of Metropolitan New York
Respect: I value the respect that one shows for one’s peers and environment. I’m a firm believer that if everyone treats each other and their surroundings with respect, the experience of learning new skills will be enjoyable for everyone. I always try to approach anything I do with as much respect as possible and I try to impart this same mentality on those that I mentor.

handshake_courtesyJake Huffaker, The First Tee of Salina
Sportsmanship: I believe that sportsmanship represents me the most because I have a tremendous respect for the game and other players. I believe that if you possess great sportsmanship, it will help you in nearly any environment you are thrown into. Having sportsmanship shows people that you love doing whatever you do, it immediately persuades people to enjoy your company and to have a positive view of you.


With more than 1,200 locations, The First Tee offers programs to youth from all backgrounds—no golf experience needed! If you know a kid interested in golf, visit our location map to find a local chapter!

Find a Chapter

One response to “How Do You Use The First Tee Nine Core Values?


    Over the years, I have said “If you really want to find out someone’s true character in a fairly short amount of time, take them golfing. How a golfer displays golf’s core values or not, are
    revealed through the playing of 18 holes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *