Volunteer coach

About The First Tee Nine Core Values

Golf is an ideal context for acquiring The First Tee Nine Core Values. It is a voluntary activity that provides challenges, requires commitment and effort over time, and has clear rules. The First Tee Life Skills Experience creates a youth-centered, mastery driven climate in which young people are empowered to explore options and make decisions, two elements that are critical to the development of a child’s value system.

About The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits

The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits were created through a collaboration among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children to promote healthy, active lifestyles for young people. The healthy habits are a list of nine health and wellness topics presented as a part The First Tee, formatted for easy understanding and learning by elementary-age students and chapter participants.

Youth Development Research Validates

Independent research confirms the youth development programs delivered through The First Tee’s chapters instill life skills and core values in youth participants. Highlights from the study:

  • Participants unanimously identified school as a setting in which they transferred life skills
  • 73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically
  • 82% felt confident in their social skills with peers
  • 57% credited The First Tee for their meeting and greeting skills
  • 52% credited the program for their ability to appreciate diversity

Opportunities for Volunteer Coaches

Golf & Life Skills Education Classes

Our Golf and Life Skills Education classes generally meet twice a week for 1.5 hours, and incorporate positive life skills with quality golf instruction. Progressive levels of instruction are offered: PLAYer 1, PLAYer 2, PLAYer 3, Par, Birdie, Eagle and Ace. Members must pass all of the requirements necessary to become certified at their current level before advancing to the next programming level.

Pee Wee Classes

Plastic clubs and tennis balls are used for this group (ages 5-6 years). Participants will progress into PLAYer 1 after they have been exposed to USGA Snoopy Golf Rules Book and demonstrate correct golf etiquette (behavior) during an entire session. It’s a fun learning atmosphere for all! Participants must be turning 5 years old during their enrolled session.

In-School Outreach Programs

The First Tee of Central Valley visits schools and youth agencies regularly, at no cost, to present a multi-session unit of golf instruction. The curriculum is an acronym called TARGET. Plastic, kid friendly equipment is used. TARGET is conducted both indoors and outdoors depending on the weather. Classes generally run 60-75 minutes.

First Tee Mentor Program

The First Tee Mentor sessions run during the school year August-May usually from 4- 6 PM every other Monday afternoon. Approximately 10-16 youth are offered one-to-one guidance by their First Tee Mentors in basic “Player” golf instruction and “Birdie” (goal setting) life skills. Some additional “Mentor” training and a consistent nine-month annual commitment are required.

Golf Camps

Specialized golf camps are offered in the summer. Camps are activity-based and provide students with the opportunity to master skills needed for certification or for their own sense of personal accomplishment in learning the game of golf. Camps run 2 hours per day.

LPGA-USGA Girls Golf

This program provides an opportunity for girls to learn to play golf, build lasting relationships, and experience competition in a fun, supportive environment, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment of the game. Golf instruction is specific to each girl’s playing ability. The Girl’s LPGA class meets once during the week.

Program Assistant (Clinic Check-in, Admin, Photography, Event Set-up)

The Admin Assistants will help parents with getting information about the program and provide assistance in preparing and carrying out tasks during clinic sessions. They are responsible for check-in & out of participants during the hours of 3:00 – 5:00 pm (weekdays) and 8:30 – 11:30 am on Saturdays.

golf and life skills curriculum

. Min Age PLAYer 1, 2 & 3 (6-10) Par Level (7-11) Birdie Level (11) Eagle Level (13)
Experience No golf experience/Beginner Beginner Intermediate Must Be Par Certified Advanced Must be Birdie Certified
Life Skills Respect, Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgement First Tee Code of Conduct, Meeting and Greeting, Three Tips for Having Fun, Staying Cool Goal Setting, 4 guidelines for reachable goals, Goal Ladders, STAR Self-Management: Goal Setting; Resilient skills, Wellness, Go-To-Team, Diversity
Instruction Safety, Golf Course Etiquette, Putting skills, Driving Range, Irons/Woods, Score keeping, Basic golf terminology, Basic rules, Course Play 3-6-9 holes Safety, Golf course etiquette, Putting skills, Driving range, Irons, Woods, Full Swing, Chipping, Pitching, Score keeping, Golf Terminology, Course play-9 holes Putting, Irons, Woods, Full swing, Chipping, Pitching, Bunker Shots, Score Keeping, Course Play-9 holes, Golf Terminology, Rules Putting, Irons/Woods, Full Swing, Chipping, Pitching, Bunker Shots, Fade/Draw, Score Keeping, Course Play-9 holes, Golf terminology, Rules
Evaluation PLAYer written evaluation, Golf skills evaluation, 3-6-9 hole Par written Life Skills & Golf knowledge, Golf Skills Evaluation Birdie written life skills and golf knowledge, Golf Skills Evaluation Eagle written life skills and golf knowledge, Golf Skills Evaluation
Written Materials PLAYer curriculum, PLAYer Bag Tags Par Yardage Book, USGA The Rules of Golf Birdie Yardage Book, USGA The Rules of Golf Eagle Yardage Book, USGA The Rules of Golf


STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO: -Abide by The First Tee Code of Conduct –Be on time

Wear golf shoes or sneakers to class, Listen carefully to Coaches & HAVE FUN!

Volunteer Coach Responsibilities & Expectations

Reports to: Director of Programs or designated Lead Coach

  • Assist with set up & disassembly of golf and life skills program equipment and supplies
  • Assist with delivery of golf and life skills instruction to participants;
  • Become familiar with and maintain Safety rules and safety zones
  • Assist with supervised Play Days
  • Greet, Engage, and Mentor Participants
  • Encourage fun learning
  • Serve as a positive model to participants
  • Become familiar with The First Tee of Central Valley policies and programs
  • Attend volunteer training sessions
  • Become familiar with lesson plans and core concepts
  • Help others become proficient in delivery of the Life Skills Education
  • Develop a high degree of proficiency in all elements of TFT Life Skills Education


  • Ability to serve as “the model” of mature, responsible behavior to participants
  • An interest in the development of youth
  • An appreciation for the game of golf and its inherent life lessons
  • A ready smile and sense of humor

Professionalism: It is essential that primary attention be placed on the student’s safety and life skills development. Thus, we request that the use of cell phones be turned off or vibrate while volunteering. Please refrain from smoking and using inappropriate language/conversation while volunteering

Volunteer Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures help ensure consistent administration of our Volunteer program.

Volunteer Application: The First Tee of Central Valley requires every volunteer to fill out an application. The First Tee will conduct a reference check (at least two, unrelated individuals who are well-acquainted with the applicant). At least one interview by a chapter representative will be conducted.

Background Check: We conduct online background checks on all volunteers which involves checking criminal history. The site is www.ncsisafe.com click on the gold background check self registration and when prompted enter code XXXXXX. Background checks generally take 5-10 business days to process. The costs of background checks are paid by The First Tee of Central Valley.

Disqualification from position with The First Tee of Central Valley: Any individual is permanently disqualified from all positions in The First Tee of Central Valley if that individual’s criminal records include any of the following:

  • History of sexual abuse of children
  • Conviction for any crime in which children were involved as victims; or
  • History of any violence or sexually exploitative behavior

Volunteer Identification: Volunteers are issued a First Tee name badge, which must be worn at all times while volunteering at The First Tee of Central Valley. This practice enables easier identification of staff and volunteers in dealing with students, parents, the public and staff members. There will be a $2.00 replacement charge, for lost badges.

Volunteer Check-In: Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the beginning of each class. This time may be spent developing your student-volunteer relationship, developing the parent-volunteer relationship, assisting with any last minute requirements. We ask that you:

  • Check in and out with The First Tee Coach that you will be assisting and sign in and out on the Volunteer check-in sheet to record your hours
  • Review the lesson plan for the day. You will receive lesson plans via email each Thursday of the prior week before classes

Absences: If for any reason you are unable to work during your scheduled volunteer time, please notify us ASAP so that we can find a replacement. Please contact John Griston, Program & Ops Director at (209) 535-2656 or The First Tee Office at (209) 341-2966 . Do not contact us via email as we are not always in the office We understand that some emergencies occur in which this notice may not be possible.

Reporting Suspected or Alleged Child Abuse: All suspicions or allegations of child abuse involving a participant in an activity of The First Tee of Central Valley will be reported to either a child protective services agency or to the applicable police department. Employees and volunteers of The First Tee of Central Valley will report suspicions or allegations of child abuse to the chapter Executive Director. The Executive Director will assist the employee or volunteer in filing a report with the appropriate child protection agency or police department for investigation and follow-up. If the alleged abuser is the Chapter Executive Director, the report should be made to the Board President. If an allegation of abuse is made against an employee or volunteer of The First Tee of Central Valley, the alleged abuser will be suspended from his/her responsibilities with chapter until such time as an investigation exonerates him/her of the allegation. Employee compensation during suspension will be in compliance with state laws.

Communication: To ensure that volunteers receive timely and accurate communication please maintain an accurate e-mail, mailing address and cell numbers with The First Tee of Central Valley. Please notify the office at (209) 341-2966 with any changes.
Child Safety: All employees and volunteer Coaches for The First Tee of Central Valley must take the on-line First Tee e-learning Safety class at
The First Tee of Central Valley does not allow volunteers to be alone with students when away from the group activity. Please be very careful that there is another volunteer or staff member present at all times when around a single student. Volunteers may not accompany a child to the bathroom or secluded areas alone under any circumstances. Chapter volunteers shall refrain from any of the following activities in their contact with participants in The First Tee of Central Valley:

  • Telling sexual jokes or stories;
  • Discussions of one’s sex life or intimate relationships;
  • Sitting too close or lying next to a child;
  • Finding ways to be alone with a child;
  • Confiding in a child about personal issues;
  • Giving gifts;
  • Engaging in physical “horseplay” such as kicking or wrestiling

These activities can be precursors to child sexual abuse and violate the values of the chapter. Failure to comply with this policy will lead to disciplinary action.

Dress Code/Appearance: Appearance is important, so please dress in casual clothing wearing flat soft -soled shoes (tennis shoes) or golf shoes. Khaki-type pants or shorts and a collared shirt are appropriate. Hat and visors are optional preferably with The First Tee logo. No torn jeans, short shorts, etc. For safety reasons the wearing of flip-flops, high heels and boots is prohibited

the first tee coaching policy

Empower Youth

  • Become “Youth Centered”
    • Ask open-ended questions and listen to the student’s needs, concerns and goals
  • Encourage positive relationships with adults and peers
  • Get to know each individuals’s goals in golf and life
  • Remember kids don’t care what you know until they know you care!!!!!

Activity Based

  • “Doing vs. Telling”
    • Engage students in fun golf related activities
    • Do activity, discuss activity, and review the experience as opposed to talking about skill and engaging in activity.
  • “Fun and Seamless” approach
    • Fun environment where kids learn golf and life skills within the “seamless” activity

Mastery Driven

  • “Intention Equals Attention”
    • Clarify intention or objective of lesson
    • Intention or objective is most important and should be focus of student’s attention (i.e., What can you do to better your grades in school? What can be done to achieve this?)
    • Develop a “can-do” approach to solving problems
  • Become process-oriented rather than outcome oriented

Continuous Learning

  • Utilize the Good-Better-How model to provide feedback
  • Take advantage of “coachable moments” that can help a student apply life skills learned (e.g., conflict resolution, positive self talk) while playing golf or interating with others beyond the formal setting

What to Expect at Class

Class Sessions: Class sessions typically run 8-10 weeks and meet one to two times a week. Each week different golf and life skills are learned. Life skills and golf skills will be evaluated through practical application and written assessments during and then finally at the end of each session to determine advancement to the next level (PLAYer, Par, Birdie, Eagle and Ace).

On the last Saturday of the spring, summer and fall sessions, students are rewarded with their First Tee certificates and two Participants and one Volunteer of the session is also recognized.

Check our website calendar www.firstteecentralvalley.org throughout the year.
If you have questions or comments about any volunteer issues, please contact:
Volunteer Coordinator: Diane Pohl

The First Tee Nine Core Values

Honesty: the quality or state of being truthful; not deceptive

Integrity: strict adherence to a standard of value or conduct. Personal honesty and independence.

Sportsmanship: observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace.

Respect: to feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.

Confidence: reliance or trust. A feeling of self assurance.

Responsibility: accounting for one’s actions. Dependable.

Perseverance: to persist in an idea, purpose or task despite obstacles. Never giving up.

Courtesy: considerate behavior toward others. A polite remark or gesture.

Judgment: the ability to make a decision or form an opinion. A decision reached after consideration.

the first tee nine healthy habits

Energy – It is important to understand and make healthy choices about when to eat, how much to
eat, and the types of food and drinks to provide the body with the most useful energy.
Play – A variety of energizing play can help the body stay strong, lean and fit, and be fun in
the process. Sleep and other forms of “re-charging” allow one to engage in play on a
daily basis.
Safety – Physical safety includes playing in a safe environment and by the rules, protecting the
body with proper equipment, warm-up and cool-down and wearing sun protection.

Vision – In order to make the most of one’s unique gifts—talents, characteristics and abilities—
an individual needs to learn from the past, value the present, create their vision and
future to ultimately “leave a footprint.”
Mind – The mind is a powerful tool for health. One’s mind influences his/her emotions and
behaviors and can be utilized for self-improvement, building confidence and
maintaining perspective.
Family – When family members participate in activities together – share meals, communicate
and establish roles and responsibilities – they are more likely to be successful in
achieving their health-related goals.

Friends – Maintaining healthy relationships includes surrounding one’s self with friends and
supportive people, while effectively handling challenging situations, including bullying
and navigating the digital age with social media.
School – Success in school – learning, building relationships and contributing to the school
environment – leads to success in other areas of life.
Community – Like the health of one’s body, it is important to also explore the health of one’s
community and discover how one can give back and care for its environment and safety.

remember to always be the model!

12 Qualities of a Great Instructor

  1. Understands that giving a lesson is a PRIVILEGE
  2. Is professional
  3. Gives 100% – All the time!
  4. Is organized. Each lesson has a beginning, middle and an end
  5. Watches and listens to the student
  6. Demonstrates desired techniques over telling how to do it
  7. Has the ability to establish a relaxed working environment
    • Most students are nervous and they will learn more if they are relaxed
  8. Has patience, patience, and more patience
    • Never lets own frustration exude into the student
  9. Is a good communicator
    • Basic vocabulary
    • Uses word pictures
    • Clear and precise demonstrations
    • Less is more
  10. Can motivate and empower students
    • Able to inspire and influence the pupil
    • Energetic and enthusiastic in teaching
    • Shows a genuine interest in the student
  11. Possesses golf knowledge
  12. Makes the lesson FUN!

General Coaching Concepts

  1. Be positive
  2. Enforce a professional appearance
  3. Be organized
  4. Exude energy and enthusiasm for what you are doing
  5. Develop relationships
    • Get to know the participants in your group. Know names, talk to parents, high-five, etc.
  6. Be disciplined
    • Demand respect for others, promote hustle, etc
  7. Use coaching cues
    • Get their attention!
    • Eye contact
    • Explain in ways they can understand. Use examples from every day life
    • Demonstration – you do it, while explaining. “What questions do you have?”
    • Participation – Set  up drills so there is little standing around
    • Give positive reinforcement when players do something well
    • Start every correction with something they are already doing well. “You have a great set-up, now lets try this…”
    • Children learn in different ways
  8. Appropriate Terminology
    • There are no “bad” shots in golf. Every outcome is a form of feedback. We reinforce the shots that do what we intended and learn from the shots that do not do what we intended.
    • The First Tee participants are not “kids.” Please refer to them as juniors, participants, students, or members