First Tee – Greater Detroit is uniquely poised to help improve the lives of young people with support of our local partners and its national organization, First Tee

Founded nationally in 1997, First Tee’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” More than 150 First Tee chapters have since formed across the nation, engaging 17,000 volunteers to mentor and develop 9 million children. Each chapter is it’s own locally-funded 501c3 non-profit, and the local Board volunteers their service to govern the chapter and financially support its programs.

Through programming delivered at golf courses, elementary schools, and local youth centers, First Tee teaches participants valuable life skills including problem-solving, time management, teamwork, self-control, conflict resolution and improving relationships within family and community.

It’s about more than golf – and we have the research and results to back it up. Independent research on the impact of local chapters found the following after three years in the program. For these reasons and others, First Tee has found its retention rate is significantly higher than other youth sports organizations:

  • 73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically.
  • 82% felt confident in their social skills with peers.
  • 52% credited the program for their ability to appreciate diversity.
  • 100%  bridged what they learned in First Tee to school.

Programming at First Tee — Greater Detroit 


First Tee — Greater Detroit’s Life Skills Experience is for students age 5-18 and includes six-classes per session. Throughout the six classes, basic golf skills are taught alongside the First Tee Nine Core Values and Healthy Habits. Our sessions consist of six hour-long classes at various times during the week. We offer Spring, Summer, and Fall sessions. The cost per session is $40. There are scholarships available for participants with financial need.

All participants, age 7 and older, new to First Tee will start at the PLAYer Level. Participants ages 5-6, will start at the TARGET Level. If you would like more information on the Life Skills Experience, click here.


First Tee STEM Links is a youth program that leads participants through nine experiments that align a STEM concept with relevant golf experiences.

As an example, participants learn how STEM concepts such as geometric scaling, kinematics and six degrees of freedom are skills needed for reading greens and holing putts. Also, participants learn the function of golf clubs by charting the domain (distance) and range (dispersion) of each club which will improve their ability to plan and estimate when playing the game.

Through STEM Links, the First Tee — Greater Detroit coaches deliver the program to participants ages 10-14, measuring their activities and progress through a “range book.” The STEM Links program offers a Range Book Front Nine Course, a Range Book Back Nine Course, and a Field Guide Green Ecolab.

The Range Books include nine exercises (holes), each introducing a STEM concept. The objective of each hole is to experience these STEM concepts through a series of activities (shots). Completing all the shots on each hole will demonstrate the practical application of the STEM concept through relevant golf exercises. The Front Nine and Back Nine Courses provide fun and engaging experiences to reinforce and strengthen science and math academics.

The STEM Links Green Ecolab, offers fun, hands-on activities engaging students in a living lab while learning about water, soil, plants, and animal ecosystems found within a golf course environment. Students will be posed with a variety of questions and together in groups will be tasked with using their environment to come up with the answers. Every experiment consists of pre-field work to be done in the classroom along with field activities to be completed at the golf course and some post-field exercises to be completed back in the classroom to reinforce learning of key objectives.

First Tee School Program

The First Tee School Program was created for elementary school students to develop an interest in golf. This in-school program introduces golf along with First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits to students in physical education (PE) classes. The PE teacher registers for First Tee’s 2-hour online training and certification. After successful completion, the PE teacher will receive resources, lesson plan examples, and supplies. There is no cost to the school or PE teacher. The program is supported by First Tee — Greater Detroit and a matching grant from the First Tee national office.

For more information on First Tee — Greater Detroit programs, please contact or call 313-820-3362.