2018 marks the 15th Anniversary for The First Tee of Greater Charlotte, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the impact the program is having in the community, the classroom, and the golf course. The First Tee of Greater Charlotte has been serving the greater Charlotte community since 2003 and is on target to impact over 120,000 youth in this year alone.
The First Tee of Greater Charlotte has been able to reach young people in our community through many different programs including weekly Life Skills Experience classes and The First Tee National School Program.
Life Skills Experience programs are conducted at 6 different program locations across the greater Charlotte area. The First Tee of Greater Charlotte’s Learning Center is located at the Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park. This historic 9-hole golf course has been the official “home” to our Learning Center since 2008. While you are playing on the 9-hole course, you will find a plaque on each tee box describing one of The First Tee Nine Core Values. The First Tee Nine Core Values are the foundation of the program and are incorporated into each class, camp or field trip – seamlessly integrated alongside the game of golf. Program participants are taught the importance of integrity, honesty, responsibility, and confidence, among a few others.
The First Tee National School Program is currently teaching The First Tee Nine Core Values, The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, and the game of golf during physical education classes to elementary school age students in 188 schools – including all Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Fort Mill elementary schools and select schools in the following districts: Cabarrus County, Union County, Lincoln County and Lancaster County. We have empowered our physical education teachers to be confident in teaching their students the game of golf in a fun and engaging way while also teaching them leadership and life skills.
Over the past 15 years we have had numerous participants in the program that have benefited from both national and local opportunities that are available to program participants. Most recently, Grace Kehoe, was selected to compete in the 2018 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee. This event is an official PGA Tour Champions event played at Pebble Beach Golf Club and televised nationally on The Golf Channel. Grace is our Chapter’s 5th participant and 1st female to be selected for this outstanding event.
On a local level, 18 Chapter alumni or graduating seniors have been awarded the Rudolph-Dadey Scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year. This $2,500 scholarship will help these young men and women as they complete their secondary education. Scholarship recipient, Toni Lindo, states that this scholarship impacts her education “because it helps take my mind off the cost of college. It also reminds me of the network of people who are rooting for me. It motivates me to continue to do well.”
At The First Tee of Greater Charlotte we are truly engaging with our kids and the community through the game of golf. We are teaching young people through fun and interactive ways, not only how to play golf, but also how they can navigate this big world with integrity and respect. We have been able to grow so much over the past 15 years and reach so many kids because of our donors, corporate partners, volunteers, staff, participants, and the community. We look forward to coming together later this summer with all of our participants, families, volunteers and supporters to celebrate our momentous 15th Anniversary.