Local non-profit teaching kids life lessons through golf

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Golf Clubs

GRAND RAPIDS — Golf season is in full swing and now some kids are getting a chance to get out on the course. First Tee West Michigan is a non-profit working to help local kids and teens who may not necessarily be able to afford the game of golf get out on the course and learn important life lessons.

It’s the first time out on a golf course for many of the kids with First Tee West Michigan. Students from ages 7 to 17 get to learn the game while learning important life values. First Tee says golf is the perfect game to show the kids these lessons.

“You have to show honesty, you have to show some integrity. There’s some sportsmanship involved courtesy being courteous to one another. Another big one and it’s our our first code of conduct is respect, showing respect for yourself, respect for others, and respect for our surroundings,” said Brian Filter, First Tee Coach.

No matter if you are near Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo or Muskegon, First Tee West Michigan will be out on the golf course teaching these kids every spring, summer and fall at an extremely reduced cost.

“Any student that qualifies for free and reduced lunch at their schools, are eligible for $5 sessions,” said Filter.

Just $5 gets these kids on the course with golf clubs provided for them. Being able to get out on the fairways means so much to kids like Kylie who learned everything they know from First Tee.

“Oh, it’s always nerve wracking because you don’t know what to expect. I had never played golf like some people play with their family and stuff before I never had so it was a little nerve racking but it’s just a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing. So you get used to it after the first couple of classes,” said Kylie Stong, First Tee upcoming senior student and coach.

During these classes the kids have the chance to earn their own Tee bucks when they showcase a good example of a life lesson. If they earn enough Tee bucks they get a big reward at the end of the season.

“We have the First Tee store where they can purchase things with those Tee bucks and it’s pretty cool, kids can get their first ever golf club,” said Filter.

Earning golf equipment and building lots of confidence along the way First Tee West Michigan says from week one to six the change and growth in each student is amazing and makes it all worth it for coaches and students.

“Such a fun experience. You get more out of it than just golf. You make friends through it and you’ll learn other values and life skills and just have fun while doing it,” said Stong.

Summer sessions start at the end of June and run through August as there is still time to sign up! First Tee West Michigan solely works off of donations in order to bring these kids into the game of golf. If you would like to donate or even volunteer to help teach these kids you can log on to their website here.

original article can be found here