As the spring of 2017 gets underway, the Heisman Trophy Trust continues to support charitable organizations dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children through the power of sports.
One such entity close to our hearts is The First Tee, which uses the game of golf to build character, instill life-enchancing values and promote healthy choices for kids.
It all started back in 1997, when The First Tee was formed by the LGPA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, and the USGAl in an effort to bring an affordable junior golf program to communities where the sport was scarce.
At first, the goal was simply to bring more kids to the game of golf. But it wasn’t long before The First Tee realized that there were other benefits that came from teaching golf skills, namely that children learned important life and leadership skills along the way.
And so The First Tee didn’t just give golf lessons. It gave life lessons.
As a result, its effort expanded beyond its original charter. In 2004, it started The First Tee National School Program, bringing the sport of golf and its core values to elementary gym classes across the country. Then, in 2012, The First Tee launched The First Tee DRIVE, an after-school program designed for young people participating in organizations like the Y and the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Twenty years later, the impact has been tremendous as The First Tee now reaches over 4 million young people annually. And it works, too, as independent research has confirmed the following about the children who spent three years in the program:
- 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.
If you would like to join the Heisman Trust in supporting The First Tee, click here.