The game of golf is as strong as it’s ever been with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Michelle Wie and Lydia Ko leading the youthful charge. Not so long ago, golf was the boring,old man’s sport—but that stereotype is quickly being shed.
Programs like The First Tee are around to help grow the game and educate our youth.
“Even though golf is a big part of it, integrating the life skills that we have and the core values is just as important," said Eric Clark, the Managing Director of Training for The First Tee national office.
Take 8-year-old Mathias who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Just a few months in the program has taught him about dedication and perseverance to the point he spends countless hours emulating his favorite golfer.
“Rory McIlroy because he hits the ball far. Almost as far as me," Mathias said.
The First Tee of Hawaii offers year round programs for youth (ages 5-17) state-wide to instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
“When the kids have that smile of hitting that golf shot or just being able to understand a core value or understand how to use a life skill, that’s where the rubber meets the road and that really brings a smile to all our faces at the home office," said Clark.
Over the weekend, 13 golf professionals in Hawaii were certified as level one coaches to teach kids of all skill levels about golf and being successful in school and life.
“A few kids in our program have graduated from high school and are in college now," The First Tee of Hawaii Executive Director Kellan Anderson said. "One kid is an engineering student. To see him come through our program, those are the types of kids we want to see. He may not be a PGA golfer, but he may be an engineer one day, and he learned some of his stuff from The First Tee.”
The First Tee of Hawaii provides year round programs on:
Program at golf courses on each area of the Island
Kaneohe, Hawaii Kai, Hickam AFB, Kunia, North Shore, Ewa Beach, and Makaha
Maui Nui Golf Club
The Big Island CC
After school and summer programs:
Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Kama'aina Kids, Kamaile Charter Academy
For more information visit thefirstteehawaii.org
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