The First Tee of Silicon Valley has three main programs for our community’s youth:
Classes – The core of our youth development program is providing 5 levels of classes at our five golf locations. Our low-cost classes feature The First Tee life and golf skill curriculum, called “The Life Skills Experiences” (LSE). In addition to LSE, we offer several elective classes including: STEM, golf play, and golf practice. All classes are conducted by trained instructors and are frequently assisted by volunteers.
Outreach – The DRIVE activity based program reaches youth in our local community. By partnering with community youth organizations, such as schools and after-school programs, we are able to bring the game of golf and our Nine Core Values to youth at their facilities.
Opportunities – Participants of our classes are offered several local and national “Opportunities” during the year. These opportunities consist of life skills and golf events that frequently require applications.
Curriculum and Levels:
The Life Skills Experience features incremental levels through which participants progress and experience our Nine Golf Fundamentals and our 27 core life lessons. All new participants begin at the PLAYer level. PLAYer through Eagle is divided into Part 1 and 2. Each level is listed below with grade requirement and education emphasis.
PLAYer (2nd grade and up) – Nine Core Values, 4 Golf Fundamentals
PLAYer Teen (6th grade and up) – Nine Core Values, 4 Golf Fundamentals
Par (3rd grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills, 6 Golf Fundamentals
Par Teen (6th grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills, 6 Golf Fundamentals
Birdie (5th grade and up) – Goal Setting Skills, 7 Golf Fundamentals
Eagle (7th grade and up) – Resiliency, Conflict Resolustion, Career Exploration, 9 Golf Fundamentals
Ace (9th grade and up) – Career Development, Post High School Education, Volunteerism, Advanced Mental and Physical Golf Training
Throughout each level participants experience The First Tee’s Nine Core Values – Respect, Courtesy, Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship Confidence, Judgment, Perseverance, and Integrity.
The games in our classes are designed to be fun, educational and promote self-discovery. The curriculum is also designed to challenge our participants with increasing core lesson objectives.
To progress from one level to the next participants must,
- Convey all Nine Core Values
- Demonstrate & exhibit each level’s core life lessons
- Complete post class assignments
- Complete certification of golf and life skills assessments during our final 2-3 weeks.
- Be grade eligible: PLAYer – 2nd grade, Par – 3rd grade, Birdie – 5th grade, Eagle – 7th grade, Ace – 9th grade.
Participants are encouraged to take multiple 8-week sessions at a given level before certifying.
Elective classes: Are unique and engaging classes focusing on golf skills and golf development.
- Golf Play – Participants learn on-course strategies, techniques, and etiquette through weekly play on the golf course.
- Golf Practice – Participants learn how to set practice goals and maximize practice efficiency.
- STEM – Our developmentally appropriate curriculum uses golf activities as a way for participants to explore how science, technology, engineering, and math connect to and impact our Nine Golf Fundamentals. STEM classes are set to a problem solving framework which fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of golf.
- Under-writing provided by: Silicon Valley Bank, Ron Hallagan & Ann Huston, Keith Fox, Stephen Almassy, Jay Stewart, Justin Denwarth, Greg Staszko, Baiba & Ray Scott
Instructors: The First Tee of Silicon Valley instructors begin as volunteer coaches until they attend a multi-day training. Through local and national training our Instructors learn,
- Strategies for creating emotional and physical safety
- Our TFT golf and life skill curriculum and seamless integration strategies
- TFT coaching philosphy
- The finer points of coaching and mentoring to maximize student engagement and empowerment.
Our participant to instructor ratio is 8-1, made lower and supported with trained volunteer mentors.