Back in March, as our Spring Programs were kicking off, I mentioned we had about 110 participants registered in our PLAYer level programs across the Sandhills.
Once seven years old, all participants, regardless of age or golf experience, start at the PLAYer Level.
And, as you would assume, the levels progress in golf lingo – PLAYer, Par, Birdie, Eagle and Ace!
Through high school graduation, youth progress through different levels by demonstrating The First Tee Nine Core Values, life and golf skills, as well as showing ability to apply the lessons learned both on and off the golf course. Finally, they will participate in, and pass, an assessment.
But, to be eligible to certify participants must reach age and time minimum set by the home office and applied at all chapters across the country.
For example, to access from PLAYer to Par, you must be nine years old and have completed 40 hours of PLAYer Level programming. Or, simply speaking three of our nine week programs or a few nine week programs with a summer camp.
Kiddos participation to head toward assessments and progression doesn’t have to be continuous. Some will attend multiple sessions in a row – Spring, Summer, Fall – and others may come every Spring, only.
Regardless, they’ve invested the time in The First Tee’s curriculum to work towards ‘moving up’ in programs.
So, back to the 110 kiddos we saw at PLAYer programs this spring. Of those, 20% were eligible to participate in assessments and I’m happy to report ALL 21 passed!
In total, these 21 kids have spent a minimum of 840 hours at The First Tee over the last few years.
They’ve met all five requirements – Core Lesson Exposure, Playing Ability, Learn, Appreciate and Your Game. Meaning, they are able to play nine holes of golf in a fast, safe and courteous manner while accurately recording their score. They are able to correctly answer questions that tie back to Life Skills, Golf Skills and Rules. And finally, they have modeled all of The First Tee’s Nine Core Values while participating in programs.
Progression is something to be celebrated. Currently, 35 – 40% of our participants will progress through programs when their time comes. A percentage that exceeds the national average at The First Tee Chapters – but one we want to continuously grow.
Studies show when a child moves from PLAYer to Par programs, they will stay engaged until high school graduation. Meaning we have the opportunity to expose and engage them in new, age appropriate curriculum while helping prepare for the future.
Cheers to our 21 PLAYer Level participants who have moved up! We can’t wait to see you at a Par Class this summer, fall or next spring.
And, PS: 13 are girls!