We all know what the game of golf can provide.
Sure, things like the satisfaction of draining a long putt, beating your friend by a stroke or shooting your age is what keeps us golfers coming back again and again, but there’s much more to it than that. The hard work and dedication that it takes to learn and perfect a swing, the honesty and respect you learn for your competitors and the course itself and the courtesy and commitment you learn to bring to a game that is self-policed can teach values that are carried outside the game.
First Tee embodies this, teaching young people both the fundamentals of the game and the foundation for a successful life both personally and professionally. The local chapter of the national nonprofit, First Tee of Greater Detroit partners with area schools, parents, thought leaders and the community overall provide a safe place of learning and character-building to instill life-enhancing values via the game of golf.
Nine core values are constantly preached: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgement. Additionally, nine healthy habits are taught in three categories: Physical (Energy, Play, Safety); Emotional (Vision, Mind, Family); Social (Friends, School, Community).
To accomplish this, First Tee needs your help. Volunteers can serve as coaches, focusing on those 18 total core values and helping to teach lessons, assist with activities and ensure a safe learning environment. The game of golf is a fun respite and hobby for most in the Metro Detroit Golfers community, but with an opportunity like this, it can serve as something much more.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with First Tee of Greater Detroit. The work they do is just incredible and to be part of their impact here locally is very humbling and rewarding,” said Mike Sullivan, co-founder of Metro Detroit Golfers. “We firmly believe that the MDG community can come alongside First Tee and aid in their mission. We know there are plenty of our members who can give a little of their time and share the know how and guidance on the course to truly help some young people in the area.”
Fellow MDG co-founder Kyle Bogenschutz echoed that sentiment.
“This is a really cool opportunity for us to use what we’ve built in MDG to actually make a difference,” Bogenschutz explained. “What First Tee has accomplished both nationwide and especially here in metro Detroit is beyond remarkable. To see the real impact they make both on and off the course is something we absolutely jump at the chance to help with and hope some of our fellow members will do the same.”
It’s about more than golf – and First Tee has the research and results to back it up. Independent research on the impact of local chapters found the following after three years in the program. For these reasons and others, First Tee has found its retention rate is significantly higher than other youth sports organizations:
73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically.
82% felt confident in their social skills with peers.
52% credited the program for their ability to appreciate diversity.
100% bridged what they learned in First Tee to school.
Interested in volunteering and making the difference through the game you love? Sign up here: https://www.firstteegreaterdetroit.org/ways-to-give/volunteer/ or contact Heather Rupp at 313-820-3362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(written by Timothy Pontzer)