With beginnings in the United States and now in New Zealand since 2006, there’s lots to learn about the First Tee New Zealand.
The mandate of the First Tee New Zealand is: “To impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and education programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.” – Exciting and worthwhile objectives. And now with Ireland incorporating The First Tee into their youth programs, it is likely other countries will join in, as well.
Chairman and founding member, Craig Heatley explains why he brought The First Tee to New Zealand:
“I have witnessed The First Tee growing from its inception in the United States to 600,000 students enrolled in 223 facilities and have seen first hand the benefits the programme can bring to young people’s lives. I am sure that with the help of the wider community we can duplicate the success of the programme here in New Zealand.
“Confidence, honesty and respect are just some of The First Tee core values, and are such important elements in people’s lives. If a programme like The First Tee can encourage these values in young people, New Zealand will be the better for it.”
Launched in 2006 by then Prime Minister, Helen Clark, donations to support the objectives continue to tumble in for this worthy cause.
The Nine Core Values are:
Stages of development include:
Target is an introductory level of participation for children new to golf and is a fun way to learn about the game before proceeding to the certification programme. Suitable for children of all ages.
The Par level focuses on fundamental communication and self-management skills. It introduces the game of golf; covers golf fundamentals such as set-up and balance; and teaches participants to establish their own Personal Par. This level is delivered in two parts. Students must complete Par 1 before proceeding to Par 2. It is very okay to repeat the classes for extra practice.
The Birdie level deals primarily with goal setting. This level continues to review golf fundamentals with a strong emphasis on short game. Participants learn a variety of golf shots and find out how to set and accomplish goals on the golf course.
The Eagle level will give participants advanced instruction and practice in mastering Par and Birdie level skills, as well as additional topics such as conflict management, mentoring and career planning.
DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
No child is denied access to The First Tee programme because of inability to pay. In cases of financial hardship, sponsors and supporters offer funding for this purpose.
The First Tee of New Zealand is a non-profit organization that relies on a loyal community of supporters. These supporters are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of youngsters in New Zealand. You may be interested in donating and/or joining The Friends of The First Tee of New Zealand.
A special thanks goes to those 50 individual and organizations who first stepped forward to ensure the project’s success: the Founding Patrons of The First Tee of New Zealand.
Thanks also to Pip King of The Best of Golf New Zealand, for sharing this information. Since inception she has been an active Board Member and is now The First Tee’s Executive Director.