Golf is unique from other sports because players learn values like honesty and responsibility by calling penalties on themselves and reporting their own score. The sport is a perfect platform for helping young people develop character because just like in life, players experience the highs and lows of the game.
The First Tee of Greater Baltimore offers programs and instruction, which focus on developing life skills using the game of golf as its vehicle. Members of the program may play the Clifton Park course for a reduced $5 rate.
Paralleling the structure of the golf instruction program, The First Tee Life Skills curriculum is divided into three levels, starting with Par (for beginners) and progressing through Birdie and Eagle.
The Par level focuses on the fundamental communication and self-management skills. The Birdie level deals primarily with goal setting. The Eagle level gives participants advanced instruction and practice on mastering Par and Birdie level skills, as well as additional topics, such as conflict management, mentoring, and career planning.
Each level consists of six life skills lessons and within each lesson is a core value. The core values of The First Tee Program are: Integrity, Perseverance, Honesty, Confidence, Respect, Judgment, Sportsmanship, Responsibility and Courtesy. Each class is designed to help students apply the life skills to not only golf but also real life situations at home or school.
In order to pass the certification test and move to the next program level, all students must be exposed to the concepts in the core lessons. Their understanding of these concepts is enhanced through role-plays, golf-related activities, and workbook exercises.
As part of The First Tee Certification Process, participants must demonstrate that they understand and can apply the core life skills by answering written questions and performing skills for an instructor. When they meet certification requirements, they progress to the next level.
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