Target:  (ages 5 & 6)  Introduction to The First Tee Life Skills Experience; provides a fun and safe environment that creates curiosity about the game of golf.

PLAYer:  (ages 7 & above and are new to The First Tee)Introduces playing the game of golf with special emphasis on learning The First Tee Code of Conduct, core values, golf skills, and healthy habits as well as appreciating the etiquette and rules of the game of golf.

Par:  Focuses on interpersonal communication and self-management skills, golf skills, and healthy habits.

Birdie:  Emphasizes goal-setting, golf skills, and healthy habits.

Eagle:  Builds on PLAYer, Par, and Birdie levels and emphasizes resilience skills, conflict resolution, planning for the future, golf skills, and healthy habits.

Progression Model

Participants who are 7 years and older must initiate their involvement in the Life Skills Experience at the PLAYer level and progress through each level of certification in sequence, at their own pace.  The required age to start the PLAYer level is 7 and above.  All other levels have a recommended minimum age:  Par, 9 years old; Birdie, 11years old; Eagle, 13 years old.  These ages are recommended but not required.

The PLAYer level is designed to expose participants of all ages and ability levels to the game of golf and its inherent values through purposeful games and golf learning activities.  This level of The First Tee Life Skills Experience builds on TARGET and emphasizes the importance of “purposeful play” in the development of skills for golf and life, as well as behaviors associated with the physical healthy habits of energy, play, and safety.

The Par level focuses on the life skills of interpersonal skills and self-management in a more sophisticated manner than at the PLAYer level.  Golf skills are further explored and exposure to the Nine Healthy Habits may be expanded to some of the emotional and social healthy habits.

The Birdie level deals primarily with goal-setting, golf skills development and may include the remaining emotional and social healthy habits.  As participants progress through these two levels they learn how to introduce themselves, show respect for others, keep a positive attitude, control emotions, and set and achieve individual goals on and off the golf course.

Whole the emphasis in the PLAYer, Par, and Birdie levels is on the individual, the Eagle level focuses more one group and community interaction.  The lessons provide opportunities for more advanced instruction and practice in mastering PLAYer, Par, and Birdie level life skills, as well as additional topics such as conflict resolution, mentoring and educational planning.  Participants learn to interact more effectively with others so they can become good citizens and exert a positive influence both at The First Tee and in their communities.  Development of golf skills continues through the delivery of each of The First Tee Nine Golf Fundamentals and application of the Nine Healthy Habits.

For learning and skill development to be effective at each level of the Life Skills Experience, coaches must allow sufficient time to ensure concepts are experienced, understood, explored, and can be applied in different situations.  The certification requirements at each level become progressively more challenging for participants in view of their increased commitment and capabilities.  Coaches and parents should keep in mind that, in general, participants should take a minimum of two years at each of the certification levels to master life skills, golf skills and healthy habits required to successfully complete certification.

Below is a link to The First Tee Certification Requirements:

The First Tee Certification Requirements