Avid golfers will tell you, there’s no finer place than a golf course for kids to gain life skills and the leadership abilities they’ll need to make their mark on the world.
Knowing this, and knowing the challenges involved with creating affordable, community-based junior golf programs, the PGA Tour of America helped created The First Tee in 1997. Blending instruction on the game’s fundamentals with an eye on showing young players who those fundamentals apply to their lives, The First Tee spread quickly.
At last, this invaluable program, which has touched so many young lives, has reached the Lowcountry. From its headquarters in the Joseph B. Fraser Golf Learning Center at 151 Gumtree Road next to the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island, The First Tee of the Lowcountry is offering classes on Hilton Head and in Bluffton, Ridgeland and Parris Island.
On area golf courses, local youth will discover how the skills learned on the course apply to their everyday lives through nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. Instruction goes beyond 18 holes, with the program keeping one eye on the greens and one eye on the students’ futures.
“It’s really about giving these kids the tools they need to develop their own leadership skills,” said Mike Davis, executive director of The First Tee of the Lowcountry. “We’ve seen what tremendous value this program brings to other areas, and we’re very excited to replicate this model here.
At the 13-acre public facility on Gumtree Road, the public and students can access the six-hole, par-3 walking course. This is the perfect spot for beginning golfers and seniors who desire the short game experience, as the facility provides an opportunity for everyone to learn or to continue learning the game of golf. In addition to the course, there is a nine-hole disc golf course (perfect for tournaments) and a fishing pond with platforms, perfect for catch-and-release fun.
The First Tee of the Lowcountry will host a grand opening from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at the new facility. Area residents are invited to enjoy the facility built by the community, for the community, with disc golf demos, fishing, golf demos and music by Cranford Hollow. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
Visit http://www.thefirstteelowcountry.org for more information or “like” The First Tee of the Lowcountry on Facebook. To play the facility, call 843-686-2680.