our story

It all started with a question: why don’t more kids play golf?

In 1997, a partnership among the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, and the USGA looked to make that question a thing of the past. To find the answer, they formed The First Tee.

This new organization, The First Tee, started as a way to bring an affordable junior golf program to communities that did not have them, especially in economically disadvantaged areas. What The First Tee soon discovered was that blending the rules of the game with life and leadership skills, kids and teens didn’t just learn how to putt – they were learning important values.

The First Tee offers more than golf lessons for kids: we offer life lessons.

Our Nine Core Values

By bringing golf to a whole new generation, The First Tee had a unique opportunity to focus on the life skills inherent in the game. Whether those challenges are social or emotional, The First Tee uses golf as the foundation for a curriculum that teaches a range of valuable life and leadership lessons.

In every experience with The First Tee, kids are introduced to our Nine Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment.

We don’t just build better golfers. We build character.

in SCHOOLS and beyond

Since 1997, we’ve grown quite a bit. We recognized our values extend beyond golf courses, so we launched two programs to meet kids where they spend time. In 2004, we started The First Tee National School Program, bringing the sport of golf and our core values to elementary gym classes across the US. Then, in 2012, we launched The First Tee DRIVE, an after-school program designed for kids participating in organizations like the Y and the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Impact, Influence, and Inspire

Over the past 20 years, The First Tee has grown to reach millions of kids and teens. Our program helps kids build character and confidence, developing the core values and life skills that stay with them on and off the golf course.

Learn more about our impact