|Using Golf to Impact Youth and Society
by Julie Pyne, The First Tee of Northeast Wisconsin
The First Tee of Northeast Wisconsin is a local chapter of the international youth development organization, The First Tee. The 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.
Young people do not automatically act with integrity or demonstrate sportsmanship. The acquisition of values is often a by-product of a series of complex processes that evolve from individuals' experiences. The First Tee Life Skills Experience teaches participants a set of skills to allow them to face challenges at home, school and play in a constructive manner. The goal is for participants to internalize the Nine Core ValuesTM which are at the heart of The First Tee mission. Research shows that youth who participate in The First Tee Life Skills Experience learn life skills and exhibit The First Tee Nine Core Values in the golf context, but also transfer and use these skills and qualities in school, at home and in other settings. In addition, the retention rate in The First Tee is significantly higher than is found in typical youth sport organizations.
At the present time, The First Tee of Northeast Wisconsin positively impacts nearly 8,500 youth. through golf programs at Mr. Golf and Highland Ridge GC in the summer and school PE and after school programs the remainder of the year. The Chapter provides scholarships for nearly 4,000 youth and partners with the Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, YMCA, Oneida Nation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Sybil Hopp School and the Girl Scouts.