Where to Check In?
When you arrive, please look for the First Tee signage and staff. We operate in partnership but separately from the golf course and its staff, so it is best to find a First Tee representative to point you in the right direction.
Once you reach the check-in area, please mark your attendance on the daily roster and meet your coaches and other players. Coaches will be there to meet players and their families, and provide a brief group introduction before the class begins.
When to Check In?
Please arrive and check in around 5 minutes prior to the start of every class, and earlier if you have questions or need to obtain equipment for the day. Late arrivals will be welcome to join the group, but players late by 10 minutes or more may receive partial or no credit for that day’s attendance. Most importantly, we just don’t want you to miss any of the lesson!
What to Expect?
The First Tee environment is designed to foster youth development and empowerment through the exploration and mastery of specific golf and life skills through activity-based programming and continuous learning. We enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do.
All classes are held at ‘green grass’ golf facilities, and almost exclusively outdoors. We utilize all areas of the golf course, including practice greens, driving range, and when available, the golf course itself.
Participants will learn and practice both golf and life skills in small and large group activities, but each individual will be able to explore the game in their own unique way. See Progression below on moving up in levels.
Players are encouraged to attend as many classes per season as possible, and as their schedule allows, but absences are ok. Notice about anticipated absences can be given to the player’s coach, but note that making up missed classes is not currently allowed (until group size restrictions are lifted).
Players should attend only their scheduled class. In the case of an absence, however, and once per season, a player may “make-up” that class at a different time during the same calendar week (Tue-Sun). We ask that you consult the class schedule on the Program Schedule page to find an appropriate make-up class (must be the same level).
Procedure: to check in, players should mark their name on the back of the class roster and on their regular daily roster to ensure accurate attendance records.
Advanced notice is not required, but players and parents should check in and introduce themselves to the coaches prior to start of the make-up class.
Make-up classes must be completed during the same week as the absence (Tuesday thru Sunday). No more than one make-up class per season, please!
What to Wear?
Most of class time is spent outdoors and in an active environment, so please dress accordingly. We recommend athletic and casual sportswear.
Tennis shoes are ideal, and all shoes must be close-toed. On wet days, waterproof shoes or galoshes can keep your feet warm and dry. When it’s cold, wear an extra layer that you can remove if necessary. On hot days, tank-tops are ok, but flip-flops or sandals are not. Before coming to class, make sure you’ve hydrated, had a snack, and used the restroom.
What to Bring?
We have plenty of golf equipment for every class, but you encouraged to bring your own clubs. Other essential items may include: snack/water, outerwear, and any medical necessities (e.g., EpiPen, prescribed medication). We also recommend you bring a water bottle with you, but always put your name on it! Otherwise, it is best to bring as little as possible. More information about acquiring golf equipment below.
Everyone gets a club!
Thanks to the efforts of our Junior Advisory Board and volunteer support, all players who do not own golf clubs will receive one club to keep as their very own! This is part of our #Clubs4Kids program. If you have not already received a club, please ask a coach in your first class.
Role of Parents
Following check-in, parents should allow players to be independent during class time. You are welcome to stay on property during class time, but if you would like to observe we just ask that you maintain some distance from the class environment. Golf course facilities are all open to the public as well, so feel free to bring your clubs and practice!
We invite all parents to explore constructive ways to be an advocate in their development of golf and life skills (we also recommend the short video from the founders of Vision 54 titled “Golf Parent for the Future” ).
If you would like to get more involved, we invite you to become a Volunteer Coach. Just submit a form HERE to register and complete your background check.
Inclement Weather Policy
We rarely cancel class, since we have indoor practice and learning spaces available at each facility, so please plan for class to be held at its regular time.
However, in the event that hazardous weather (e.g., lightning, excessive heat, or smoke) necessitates an adjustment or cancellation of class times, we will contact you directly and with as much advanced notice as possible. Classes will typically not be rescheduled, but players are welcome to make-up a class that has been cancelled.
Certification & Progression
First Tee provides a progressive curriculum, where golf and life skills are explored and developed in a continuous learning environment. Participants seek to master a specific set of golf and life skills at each level in the program, and once they have done so they become “certified” at that level. Once meeting the age guideline and with coach endorsement, progression to the next level is recommended. If you have questions about the structure and certification process, please click here for that section of our FAQ page: Certification & Progression
Each level has a specific Yardage Book, or written component to the curriculum. These are an integral part of our lessons and the certification process, and will be distributed in the first two weeks of the session to players who are new to the program or don’t already have one. These books should be kept at home or in the player’s golf bag, and will be used primarily outside of class time. Among other requirements, progression from one level to another requires completion of the Yardage Book. If you have any questions, please reach out to your coach before or after class.
Our classes are led by qualified staff coaches and volunteers, and while a player may have different coaches each season, we all work collaboratively to ensure a continuous learning process. If you have any questions or comments about the coaching or volunteer staff, and you are not able to discuss with them on site, please feel free to contact our office anytime.
For those age 13+, one of the best ways to develop leadership skills is to work with younger players as a Junior Volunteer Coach! Work alongside our staff and adult coaches to assist players through the learning process, and be a role model for younger participants. This can also be the first step toward an internship and even staff position with First Tee! More info about those opportunities HERE.
To get enrolled, just fill out a Coach & Volunteer form and follow the instructions to sign up as a junior volunteer coach.
Youth on Course
For those ready to play golf on the regulation course, you have a special opportunity to play golf on regulation courses for only $5!
Through First Tee, you can join the Youth on Course program for just $15 per year, and choose from a list of 50+ local golf courses (including most of our program locations, and Chambers Bay!).
Click HERE for more information and to sign up for Youth on Course.
Golf Equipment & Merchandise
If you are looking for golf clubs, there are many options to choose from.
Once a junior player has decided to continue with golf, we do recommend acquiring a set of at least 3-5 clubs (and bag, if possible).
The best deal in town on youth clubs is our seasonal JAB Equipment Sale, which is typically held during the same weekend as the Chapter Championship.
For new equipment, retail sports stores offer junior golf clubs for between $125-200. Currently through our partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods, you can purchase a set of 5 Top-Flite clubs and stand bag for only $85 (including S&H). We also have a partnership with U.S. Kids’ Golf, and we have the ability to order that equipment at discount as well. Visit the Equipment Buying Guide page for details.
Rain or shine, we are fortunate to have many photogenic moments on the course, and we try to capture as many of those as we can. You can find many of these on our Facebook page. We also invite you to share your photos on Instagram and Twitter (@firstteeseattle), or send to us via email.
Where to find more information?
Please visit our website for upcoming events, chapter calendar, and the FAQ section. You can also find us on Facebook, and are welcome to call or email our office for more information.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the season!
Where to Check In?