Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Shellie Ward
The First Tee
I have to be honest with you in saying that I haven’t been able to save for Haven’s college education. I researched scholarship opportunities that were the least taken advantage of for both females and minorities, and golf is one of them. Haven’s school Drew Charter is nestled between The Charlie Yates Golf Course and the East Lake Golf Club, so naturally golf is one of the core athletic programs offered as well as part of the physical education curriculum.
As soon as the opportunity presented itself, I enrolled Haven in The First Tee program at the Charlie Yates Golf Course. I’m not well versed or even versed in golf, but the program educates the parent as well. What I’ve learned and I’m very impressed with is that they teach life skills. The 1st Tee has nine core that they instill: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement. The trained 1st Tee coaches are responsible for the development of the children’s golf experience. The First Tee has more than 700 coaches in the network. Some of the coaches are PGA and LPGA professionals, and the rest are volunteers that donate their time because they believe in the The First Tee’s mission.
The First Tee families got tickets to attend the East Lake PGA Tour of Champions a few weekends ago, which featured the BIG golf stars such as Phil Mickelson and TIGER WOODS! I didn’t quite know what to expect, but we had a great time! We saw Tiger so many times, and I was scolded by officials for just having my Blackberry in plain view. They are serious about NO PICTURES! There were interactive activities that both children and adults could participate and of course a ton of promotional “free stuff”. I probably would not have had that experience if it weren’t for The First Tee! Haven and Harley were not as excited as I, but who cares….I SAW TIGER! When I showed the girls Tiger, Harley said “but he doesn’t look like a tiger!”
A few times a year, they offer clinics for the parents. I took one and was intrigued and would like to learn more, just can’t find the time! Even if the girls don’t go far with it, (Harley will start next year), they’ll know about the sport. They’ll be capable of golfing with the boys in their professions, and wear cute golf gear! Between swimming, golf and academics, hopefully Haven’s college education will be taken care of.
There are locations throughout the country as well as international chapters. Check out the website and plug in your zip code. There are qualifications to be accepted such as your address, affiliations, etc.If you DO qualify, jump on the opportunity. It is so worth it for your kids!