Parent Mini-Handbook

Our Mission Statement 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.

About The First Tee – The First Tee was created to introduce young people of all backgrounds to the game of golf and its inherent values.  Through The First Tee Life Skills Experience (a curriculum for teaching character education through golf) young people around the world discover how skills essential to success on a golf course can help them flourish in life.  The First Tee was founded in 1997 by the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, the USGA, and the Shell Oil Company.  The Delaware chapter started in 2007 and is now offering National School Programs in 22 schools, the D.R.I.V.E. program at 4 locations, and programs and/or discounts at 11 golf facilities.  (See locations below)

Our Golf Clinics seamlessly integrate golf skills, life skills, and healthy choices into each lesson.  Participants will learn interpersonal skills, self-management, goal setting, and resilience skills as they work on putting, chipping, pitching, full swing, and on course play while progressing through the levels of our program.

Equipment & SuppliesWe can provide clubs for students, but if participants own clubs, we encourage them to bring them.  We feel it is important that students stay hydrated during class, so you may want to make sure your child has a bottle of water.

Class ScheduleEvery clinic (or practice) has a specific start & stop time.  It is beneficial for students to be at their location 10-15 minutes prior to class for check-in.  Parents are encouraged to stay and monitor their child until class begins.  Once the clinic starts, parents are welcome to stay or leave the site until the end of the session.  However, if you leave, please be prompt in returning to pick up your junior golfer.  While we would never leave a child alone, in many cases our coaches and staff have to get home to their own families.

Class Location Meeting Spot – Unless you hear otherwise from your coach, all participants should meet their coach and other participants on the practice putting green at the golf course.  If there is ever any confusion as to where to meet, please ask in the golf course’s Pro Shop. 

Dress Code At TFTDE we teach Respect for yourself, Respect for others, and Respect for your surroundings.  Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for golf.  Collared shirts are preferred.  Tank tops, halters, jeans, extremely baggie pants, and very short shorts are not appropriate golf attire.  Sun screen and hat are encouraged.  Children should wear golf shoes or athletic shoes with some tread on the bottom.  Wet grass can be slippery.  Please, no open toe or heeled shoes as they are a safety issue.  Also, please be sure to dress for the weather.  Layering is a good idea especially during the spring and fall sessions.  

Attendance PolicyAttendance is a key component to the success, development, and progression of The First Tee program.  If an absence is unavoidable, please contact your child’s coach as soon as possible.  Participants may make up missed sessions on other days in other classes if space in that class is available and arrangements can be made. 

Inclement Weather Policy If weather permits, we will conduct class on the golf course.  If the golf course is closed because of weather, we will conduct class indoor (where available).  In the event we need to cancel, all weather-related cancellations will be posted on our Facebook page and our website under the ALERTS tab at least 1 hour prior to the start of class.  Due to scheduling issues, we will not make-up a single missed class.  However, if more than 1 class is cancelled, we will do everything possible to schedule a make-up.

For questions concerning your clinic, please call Charma Bell at 302-593-2062 

First Tee Certification – To enhance consistency within the levels of our program, participants are required to pass certification assessments (both written and playing) at the end of each session to move to the next level.  This helps us keep participants in groups that have similar golf skills and knowledge.  The First Tee Certification process also ensures every participant that certifies at PLAYer, Par, Birdie, or Eagle levels has acquired a designated level of golf and life skills proficiency.  More specifically, PLAYers should be able to:

(a) Understand and demonstrate life skills; (b) Display a progression of golf skills; and (c) Appreciate the importance of etiquette, The First Tee Code of Conduct, and the Rules of Golf.

Behavior Policy We expect students to come ready to learn.  We also expect that students will not interfere with the learning, safety, or well-being of others.  Behavior expectations will be covered at the beginning of each session and reviewed as needed.   Parents will be notified after class if a participant is having difficulty following through in this area.  If you know your child has difficulty in a group setting, please let us know in advance.  We may need you to stay to help monitor him/her for the safety of all.

Yardage BooksParticipants will be issued Yardage Books to complete as they progress through each session.  It is every participant’s responsibility to care for their Yardage Book and to bring it to each class. One Yardage Book will be issued to each participant free of charge, additional books are available for a small fee.

Parent Education ResourcesWe encourage parents to become involved in what we teach and help support students with their First Tee lessons during the week.  The participant’s yardage book and this mini-handbook are designed to allow parents to follow along with weekly reviews of each lesson. 

Volunteers – Each family is required to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours per year to support fundraising efforts.  You may opt out of this volunteer requirement by donating an additional $100 to The First Tee of Delaware in your “cart” on the donation line when you register online.  In order to fulfill your volunteer hours with The First Tee of Delaware, please contact:  Charma Bell at 302-593-2062 or 

Volunteer hours may include special projects, fundraising, tournament/event help, office help, golf chaperones, etc.  If you are interested in becoming a coach, we would love to discuss it with you! 

Other SupportAs a youth development charity, The First Tee of Delaware relies on donations to keep the cost to participants affordable.  No child is ever turned away for inability to pay.  If you are interested in helping support this program, or work for a company that is interested please contact us.  You may also donate through the United Way donor choice program, our agency number is 12750.

Locations – Ed Oliver GC, Rock Manor GC, Back Creek GC, Bear Trap Dunes GC, Eagle Creek GC, Garrison Lakes, American Classic GC, Dover Par 3, Hooper’s Landing GC, Wild Quail GC, & Rookery North GC.

Levels of The First Tee’s LIFE SKILLS EXPERIENCE

TARGET Level (entry level for ages 4-6)   Lessons/activities are used to spark curiosity in the game of golf.

PLAYer Level (minimum age 7)    Participants will learn The First Tee’s 9 Core Values, 9 Heathy Habits, Basic Golf Fundamentals, and Rules of the Game.

Par Level (minimum age 9)   Participants will learn The First Tee’s Core Lessons with golf skills focusing on Balance, Rhythm, Contact, and “Playing”.

Birdie Level (minimum age 11)   Participants will learn The First Tee’s Core Lessons with golf skills focusing on Routine, Flight, and “Playing.”

Eagle Level (minimum age 13)   Participants will learn The First Tee’s Core Lessons with focus on Assessment, Refinement, and Development of Golf Skills.

Ace Level (must be Eagle Certified)   Individualized projects and Self-Paced.