Life skills experience program

2017 Parents’ Guide

The First Tee of Benton Harbor uses golf to teach youth life lessons and leadership skills. Sessions include a fun, group setting for youth ages 5 through senior year of high school regardless of background or previous experience. Teaming up with experts in positive youth development, The First Tee of Benton Harbor helps youth become good golfers and even better people.


The First Tee of Benton Harbor emphasizes Ten Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, judgment and inclusion. Through golf and our core values, your kids and teens will learn life skills like:

  • Making proper introductions
  • Managing emotions
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Setting up step-by-step goals
  • Planning for the future
  • Appreciating diversity


From age 5 through senior year of high school, youth progress through different levels by demonstrating The First Tee Nine Core Values, life and golf skills as well as passing an assessment. All participants regardless of age start at the PLAYer level. The pinnacle of The First Tee is completing Ace.

  • PLAYer (required minimum age 5) – Tee up for the first time and learn the game of golf and The First Tee’s Code of Conduct.
  • Par (recommended minimum age 9) – Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the course.
  • Birdie (recommended minimum age 11) – Emphasis on setting goals and making them a reality.
  • Eagle (recommended minimum age13) – Learn resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning.
  • Ace (required minimum age 14 or entering 9th grade) – Put it all together and hone in on setting goals, career education, and giving back to the community.

Ask us about scholarships for financial need.


As I look back at my experience with The First Tee of Benton Harbor, I’ve realized that the instructors, mentors, and volunteers at the program, played a huge part in who I am today. Because of The First Tee of Benton Harbor, I’ve obtained the confidence to set goals for myself and believe that I have the potential to achieve them.” 

– Courtney Rooker, The First Tee of Benton Harbor alumnus


Life Skills Experience Dates:

Session 1: June 19 – July 21 (Week of 4th of July off)

Session 2: July 31 – August 24

  • Sibling rate is $50 for first child, and $15 for each additional child for one session.
  • Registration Dates: April 15 (10am – 2pm)
  • All registration days are conducted at The First Tee Academy at Harbor Shores, 201 Graham AVE, Benton Harbor

The First Tee of Benton Harbor Registration Form