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The First Tee is a program of the World Golf Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, envisioned in 1997 to provide young people from age seven to seventeen an opportunity to develop character education, life-enhancing skills and values, through the game of golf. Central Coast Junior Golf, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) Chapter of The First Tee licensed to do business as The First Tee of Central Coast in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Through The First Tee Life Skills experience, youths participating in the program learn valuable lessons, life skills, and healthy habits including:  the importance of maintaining a positive attitude; how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences; and how to define and set goals.  In addition, and of central importance to the program, participants are taught how values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility, respect, confidence, judgment, perseverance, courtesy and sportsmanship apply to every day life.

Utilizing a curriculum based on established educational and psychological principles and taught by highly qualified and skilled instructors, The First Tee is having significant success in capitalizing on golf’s ability to teach core human and character values to the young people who participate in our program.  We provide lessons that not only will have a lasting positive influence on their character and their lives, but also will educate and motivate them to become responsible and productive members of their communities.

Through a progressive series of activities and educational experiences, the young people progress through four certification levels: PLAYer, Par, Birdie and Eagle.  The primary purpose of certification is to ensure every participant has acquired a designated level of proficiency in life skills as well as physical healthy habit behaviors. More specifically our participants should be able to:

– Understand and demonstrate life skills, such as interpersonal skills, self-management, goal-setting & resilience skills;

– Understand and demonstrate a progression of golf skills;

– Understand and demonstrate behaviors associated with the physical healthy habits of energy, play and safety; and

– Understand and appreciate the importance of etiquette, The First Tee Code of Conduct and the Rules of Golf as approved by the USGA and the R&A rules.

Progression of participants across certification levels is important because participants who advance to higher levels demonstrate more successful transfer of general life skills usage and more favorable developmental outcomes. (University of Virginia)