Giving Guide 2023: First Tee – Pittsburgh

First Tee – Pittsburgh’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Character is learned, cultivated and shaped by our experiences. 

We build experiences that build character. As a youth development organization, we believe experiences are our greatest teacher and that they should be both fun and meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.

Our Programs

We see golf as a metaphor for life. It’s not the score that counts, but what you learn along the way. Like in life, golf requires goal-setting, working with others and digging deep when things get tough. Golf is a perfect practice ground for learning skills that go far beyond the fairways. 

Our programs happen daily at approximately 150 chapters across the world. The Pittsburgh chapter is based at The Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park and operates at numerous program locations in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Participants ages 5–18 progress through the program over time, deepening their understanding of life skills and golf development. The integrated approach helps kids and teens build confidence and resilience for when they are on the course, at home and in school. Every participant has the opportunity to:

  • Learn the game of golf and how it relates to life
  • Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the golf course
  • Set goals and put strategies in place to make them a reality
  • Learn conflict resolution, resilience and how to plan for the future

At First Tee, we know kids and teens can accomplish amazing things when they are supported and given the space to grow and learn. We ask each of our participants to agree to the Commitment to Being a Game Changer – and to work each day to be the best version of themselves.

What is a Game Changer?

A game changer is someone who:

  • Pursues goals
  • Grows through challenge
  • Collaborates with others
  • Builds positive self-identity
  • Uses good judgment

Kids become a better version of themselves when they have the space to be who they are, surrounded by passionate people who guide them to see what they are capable. We focus our programs on the following key elements:

  • Character Development: Our curriculum emphasizes character development and social and emotional learning objectives through golf, delivering activities that are developmentally appropriate, designed to meet kids where they are.
  • Adult Mentors: Multi-level coach training programs focus on research-proven methods of positive youth development, providing our coaches with the tools to help kids feel safe, included and empowered on the golf course, in the classroom and beyond.
  • Personal Growth: We provide an array of immersive enrichment programs and national participant opportunities that facilitate growth and inspire personal transformation.
  • College Scholarships: Our First Tee College Scholarship Program provides tuition assistance, personal and professional development, and mentorship for First Tee alumni.

At First Tee — Pittsburgh, no child or group is ever turned away for inability to pay. In addition, all equipment is provided, free of charge. Your contribution helps economically disadvantaged children participate in our golf and life skill clinics.

Get Involved:

  • Participate – All children ages 5-18.
  • Donate – Your support ensures that no child is turned away because of cost.
  • Volunteer – Join our 300+ volunteer coaches.
  • Rent – Facility space or golf simulators. 

Donate Now

Story and Photography by First Tee

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