The First Tee of Denver approaches lofty goal of 10,000 kids.
By Drew Kort
The First Tee is not your ordinary junior golf program, and The First Tee of Denver exemplifies this fact in spades.
In 2012, the then President of the Board for the Denver chapter publicly announced that the organization would attempt to work with 10,000 soon-to-be golfers in the Denver Metro Area by 2020. “At the time, the goal seemed unattainable and was downright terrifying,” said Director of In-School Programming, Erica Yates. She and the staff began the trying task of planning to meet such a goal shortly thereafter.
The progress the organization has made toward this number is remarkable. In 2016, The First Tee of Denver worked with approximately 2,500 kids in schools. Last year that number increased to 4,168. “This year, our goal is to work with 5,000 kids in schools,” Yates declared. Six years after setting the bar high, it doesn’t seem quite high enough.
When asked what drives Yates to see that number eclipsed, she said: “many of the youth we work with in schools have never held a golf club. I love seeing kids who were reluctant to participate look forward to playing golf. It is important to me that kids know golf is a life-long game and is accessible to everyone. We work really hard as a chapter to make that apparent.”
There are several reasons to get the children in your life involved in the program. Yes, kids can learn necessary golf techniques in order to be successful on the course, but this is just a piece of what The First Tee does. They offer free in-school programs, on-course programs, youth employment, professional development, college scholarships and more.
Yates encourages anyone who is interested in learning more about all available opportunities to reach out!