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To impact the lives of young people in the Central Savannah River Area by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf, and to provide an affordable and accessible golf facility, primarily to serve those who have not previously had exposure to the game and its positive values.
The First Tee was created in 1997 to introduce young people of all backgrounds to the game of golf and the life lessons it teaches. Through The First Tee Life Skills Experience, a curriculum for teaching character education through specific life skills, children and teenagers around the world discover how the skills essential to success on the golf course can help them flourish in life. These skills include self-management, interpersonal communication, goal-setting, mentoring and effective conflict resolution. The Life Skills Experience sets the First Tee apart from other junior golf programs and youth initiatives, and ultimately hopes to instill in participants The First Tee Nine Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, courtesy, judgment, confidence, responsibility, and perseverance. The First Tee of Aiken was established in August 2009 and is a locally owned and operated nonprofit organization. The First Tee of Aiken is located at 901 Houndslake Drive, a 27-hole championship course designed in 1974 by Joe Lee, who planned Doral, La Costa and Disney World. The First Tee of Aiken features a 9-hole course rotating with the three available, practice range, putting green, clubhouse/teaching facility, concession area and PGA Professionals. Students enrolled in The First Tee of Aiken receive quality life skills and golf instruction, $1 green fees and 50¢ range balls, free use of golf equipment, supervised practice privileges, tournament opportunities and more. Special emphasis is placed on recruiting low to moderate-income youth, minorities, girls, at-risk youth, students with disabilities and youth that might not have otherwise been exposed to the game and its positive values. No student or group will be turned away based on their inability to pay. The First Tee of Aiken’s top priority is youth development.
- Elizabeth Smith
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