Turn Off the Monitor, Turn on the Fun

Unplug your family’s digital devices and Jump into screen-free activities to spark creativity, strengthen communication skills, and support individuality.

Being “screen-free” means turning off your televisions, monitors, and phones and rediscovering life outside of the digital world by exploring and playing together. Today, the majority of American children spend five to eight hours a day in front of a screen and less than one hour outside, meaning the average child’s sleep quality, attention span, and stress levels could be negatively affected by the tight grip of modern technology. Monitoring and limiting your child’s screen time allows you to promote non-digital activities, like family cooking nights, berry picking, building a fort, creative writing, painting, exploring the town, or our favorite: playing sports. The First Tee supports this tech-free time initiative by providing outdoor activity programs while teaching values that build character and inspire daily play away from a screen. Promoting your child’s involvement in outside activities has proven to improve general mood, attention, and memory while reducing ADHD symptoms like being easily distracted, lack of focus, or struggling with over-stimulation between school, homework, and online games. Playing outside allows your child to release energy in a healthy way, raise levels of serotonin production – our body’s natural anti-depressant – and routinely soak in some Vitamin D. Involving your child in a sport program guarantees time every week for outside play, or creating family goals like reading before bed, Friday board games, or Sunday morning bike rides can build stronger family connections and allow for exploration of other interests while encouraging the development of individuality. Screen-free time can be beneficial for your child and the whole family! If tech-free time interests you, consider registering your child for one of the 1,200 program locations of The First Tee working to reduce screen time across the United States. Find a Chapter

Five Reasons Your Kids Should Learn Golf This Summer

Summer is almost here, which means you may be wondering how to fill your child’s time while school is out. This summer, consider an activity that keeps your child active while learning values and life skills that will help them at school and at home: GOLF.

Here are 5 Reasons Your Kids Should Learn Golf This Summer:

1. Your kid will have fun

Golf looks different at The First Tee. Kids participate in group classes where they meet others from all walks of life. And they don’t start off by playing 18-holes, which can be really intimidating for a beginner. Our trained coaches come up with fun and creative games to introduce golf concepts to kids. Not convinced? Just wait until your kid plays golf tic-tac-toe!

2. Anyone can Play

To a kid, golf may seem like a sport only older people play, but that’s only because golf is a lifelong sport. Imagine playing a game you love and can play forever. We offer youth golf programs to youth ages 7 to 18, no matter their background or experience. Worried about affording the game? The average cost per 6-week session is $72. And chapters offer financial aid, so no kid is ever turned away.

3. More time outside

Studies1 show that kids are spending less time outside these days. At The First Tee, you’ll rarely find us in the classroom. We are in the business of doing, not telling. Increased sports activities lead to improved cognitive and academic skills2, which is why participants are taught the game of golf through experience-based learning, out on the golf course or driving range.

4. Learn More than a golf swing

You know that “experience-based learning” we were just talking about? Well, that isn’t just to teach kids the basics of golf. While learning the fundamentals of a golf swing, The First Tee’s character education programs provide a fun, active environment to teach kids how to manage emotions, resolve conflicts, communicate, set goals and much more. They will learn about The First Tee life skills, Nine Core Values and the Nine Healthy Habits.

5. Golf is More Exciting than Ever

Ask anyone who watches golf today, the game still has a few surprises up its sleeve. A large part due to the return of Tiger Woods and many other PGA TOUR players who are defying the odds. The First Tee has a few surprises too, as we offer many exciting national events for kids who progress through our program, including an event played at Pebble Beach! So why not pick up the game this summer? You may just end up achieving greatness.

Don’t Fizzle when the summer starts to sizzle

At more than 1,200 locations, The First Tee program offers summer programs that are fun and delivered by trained coaches. Our mission is to help prepare kids and teens from all backgrounds for success in all areas of life. Chapters offer full scholarship or reduced fee programming for those with financial need. Find a chapter 
  1. https://www.childinthecity.org/2018/01/15/children-spend-half-the-time-playing-outside-in-comparison-to-their-parents/
  2. https://sparkpe.org/blog/healthy-body-healthy-mind-the-benefits-of-physical-activity-in-school/

Why The First Tee National School Program is Right for Your School

Physical education programs are a great way to introduce youth to new activities. And The First Tee National School Program was designed to do just that! The program gives elementary students the opportunity to learn golf and how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

“I am particularly excited that we’ve been able to tie skills to the larger picture of what we want a student to grow up and look like and sound like as an adult. We are very, very grateful for this program.”  — Principal, Jacksonville, Fl.

school golf program 1So, why choose The First Tee? Here are four reasons why The First Tee National School Program is right for your school and students.

Reason #1: Golf

The great thing about golf is that it’s a game anyone can play and anyone can teach for a lifetime! Lesson plans and training included with the program were designed for physical educators regardless of their knowledge of golf! Through fun activities, PE teachers guide students through a basic understanding of golf motor skills by engaging students in activities such as putting, chipping, pitching and full swings. We want to show them that golf can be a lifelong activity!


Safety is the top priority for PE teachers who practice what The First Tee calls the “5 layers of safety.” Through proper planning and set up of the activities, students learn how to respectfully take turns, swing the golf club safely, manage their behavior and establish consistent routines.

Reason #3: Core Values

By establishing a “core value of the day” that is in line with The First Tee Nine Core Values, PE teachers easily observe and track how a child learns and demonstrates a specific behavior during activities. Furthermore, students learn how to apply the core values beyond PE class to other areas of their lives – at home or in the classroom.

school golf program 2Reason #4: Healthy Habits

Each lesson warm-up introduces students to physical, emotional and social practices that align with The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits.

What next?

Want to upgrade your child’s PE experience? Here are a few steps:
  1. Contact our Outreach team by completing this form.
  2. We’ll work with you to identify funding opportunities (this can be the school, a donor, or corporation).
  3. After identifying funding, we train the PE teacher.
  4. Schools receive the curriculum and equipment after training.
  5. Students start enjoying golf in school!

Finding Family at The First Tee

Watch Dylan’s story on Golf Channel
Family: A group of people (related or not); often held together by bonds of devotion and shared values and goals. At The First Tee, one of our Nine Healthy Habits is family. Families are vitally important in providing the first social interactions for a young person and set the basis for future healthy relationships. And each family is unique. Eleven-year-old Dylan Clanton may not have the most traditional family setting, but it’s loving all the same. After two deaths in the family, when he was 5 and 7 years old, Dylan and his little brother, went to live with his great-grandmother, Anita. “He was a joyful, hopeful, loving little boy—even from four years old—whose dream was to be a golfer,” Anita said. “He watched Golf Channel all of the time. When he found an old golf club in a plastic bucket in the garage, he taught himself how to hit the golf ball.” She knew Dylan needed not only a place to play golf, but a community of young people and mentors. That’s when she found The First Tee of Greater Tyler. Since joining The First Tee, Dylan has added to his family: friends to practice with and quality relationships with coaches who help guide him. “From that first moment, his favorite place in the world was playing golf and going to the chapter,” Anita said. “And win or lose, his smile is continually there, just because he loves golf, loves being on a team, loves playing with his friends and loves the coaches who mentor him.”

Join a Family that Gives Back

Our mission is to help prepare kids and teens from all backgrounds for success in all areas of life. By providing a fun and safe environment, kids are able to make friends with others their age and are provided mentors in the form of our trained coaches. Get involved today! Find a Chapter

3 Reasons Why Children Need More Outdoor Time

multisport 2 Imagine your childhood was spent mostly indoors. How different would it look? Studies show that kids today are spending less time outside – enjoying only an hour or less of outdoor time each day. In fact, according to the Dirt is Good initiative, “on average, children now spend less time outdoors than a prison inmate.” At The First Tee, we want to help change that statistic. Here’s why: Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Children Need More Outdoor Time”

Academic Motivation: 4 Ways to Motivate Youth to Pursue Education

First Tee ads 6 / 2012Did you know between 40 and 60 percent of U.S. high school students don’t put much effort into school? Research shows students’ desire to learn decreases steadily from the start of elementary school until they graduate from high school or dropout. How do we solve America’s crisis of academic motivation? The First Tee, a youth development organization that uses the game of golf to to teach young people about life skills and character education, is motivating youth to pursue learning and education in four ways: Continue reading “Academic Motivation: 4 Ways to Motivate Youth to Pursue Education”

The First Tee’s Top 3 Benefits of PE and Playing Sports

NSP 6When school starts, the exercise and fitness shouldn’t stop. Experts agree that physical activity is essential to young people, and physical education helps instill the importance of playing sports and being active. That’s why The First Tee National School Program introduces golf, values and healthy habits to elementary students during PE classes.  

Here are a few benefits of PE programs and playing sports:


1. Improved Physical Fitness and Health

The most obvious benefit of PE is that physical activity helps develop healthy bones, joints, muscles and fend off obesity. According to Phit America, PE “prepares children to be physically and mentally active, fit and healthy for life.” The First Tee National School Program is designed to engage students in daily lesson activities that lead to motor skill development and emphasize making healthy choices in life.

2. Strengthened Interpersonal Skills and Peer Relationships

Physical education and sports can help build a young person’s confidence and social interactions. One of The First Tee Nine Core Values is respect and the importance of showing respect for oneself, playing partners and fellow competitors. Students build an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with the game with each lesson.  

3. Improve student performance in academics

Research shows that healthy activity helps strengthen and stimulate a young person’s mind. Studies indicate increased fitness and sports activities leads to improved academics and attention spans. Physical education also helps students build self-discipline and personal goal-setting. Are you an advocate for the health of your children and your community? Learn more about bringing The First Tee to your child’s elementary school.

About The First Tee National School Program

Currently introduced to more than 9,000 elementary schools, The First Tee National School Program creates an environment where young people are introduced to the lifelong sport while learning the basic golf motor skills and the inherent values of the game. Southern Company logoThanks to the support of Southern Company, The First Tee’s Education Patron, the National School Program will be implemented in 1,000 schools by 2017 in the communities served by Southern Company operating companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power.

Youth from Richmond experience golf and The First Tee at Get Movin' Sports Camp

Sixty youth from Richmond attend Movin' Mania Sports  Camp
Sixty youth from Richmond experience golf and The First Tee at Get Movin’ Sports Camp
How important is it to get our youth moving? With one-third of all kids now overweight or obese,* organizations across the country are finding ways to fight this epidemic. The First Tee is doing our part by encouraging kids and teens to get active and stay healthy with The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits. One of our chapters, The First Tee of Richmond & Chesterfield, recently partnered with Movin’ Mania to host a “Get Movin’ Sports Camp” for about 60 inner city youth at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia. Continue reading “Youth from Richmond experience golf and The First Tee at Get Movin' Sports Camp”