One of my favorite jobs I ever had was a simple 3 month internship with The First Tee of Greater Dallas. One thing I said when I left that internship was I wanted to continue being a part of the organization. With my job situation in Houston never allowed me to do that I have finally got the job situation and schedule stable.
The First Tee was started by the LPGA, Masters Tournament,PGA of America,PGA Tour, the USGA, Shell Oil, and Johnson & Johnson. It was founded in 1997. The First Tee is an organization that teaches 9 core values to kids aged 8- HS Diploma. These 9 values are:
- Honesty- The quality or state of being truthful
- Integrity- Strict adherence to a standard of value or conduct
- Sportsmanship- Observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace
- Respect-To feel or show deferential regard for
- Confidence- Reliance or trust
- Responsibility- Accounting for one’s actions
- Perseverance- To persist in an idea
- Courtesy- Considerate behavior towards others
- Judgement- The ability to make a decision or form an opinion
The reason I love this organization is because of those 9 values. People who demonstrate these 9 values are usually pretty successful and also good citizens. Every lesson focuses on one of these life values. They teach it through golf. The organization does things like make the kids keep their own scores in games. This teaches honesty,integrity,and responsibility. The golf is important but the life skill is much more important.
Another reason I love this organization is the passion that the employees and volunteers have. Every instructor is excited to be at their job. If they aren’t then they do a heck of a job pretending. Everyone believes we are changing kids lives. Sometimes you are the best adult role model they will have. When I was interning with them the volunteers were always so excited as well. This probably helps the excitement that the employees have as well. They also really believe in the program. A prime example of this is the fact that one of the volunteers in my training class was a former student.
The final reason I love this organization is how much fun I have. I get to spend a few hours around the game of golf. I also get to help a kid get better at golf as well as get better at life. I shouldn’t do it for me but I do. I do it because I have a fun time at it. The dirty secret is I actually get a little better at golf while I am at it. It may not seem like a ton of pressure but when a 9 year old knocks it to within 2 feet on a chip and you got to get inside of that shot so you don’t have to buy him Skittles at the next class you sweat it a little. (I knocked it closer fyi)
If you’re into the game and have a few hours to spare go to a class. They would love the help. Go see what its about. Go have some fun and make a difference in a kids life!