First Tee Saturday classes begin March 4, continue for 12 weeks

-A A +A

By Mike Gildea
TFTBC Board of Directors, Coach
This year marks the seven-year anniversary of The First Tee of Brunswick County’s inaugural programming—its after school and Saturday sessions. Youngsters between the ages of 4 and 17 from throughout the area, regardless of their golfing abilities, are invited to take part this spring. First Tee offers an array of programs to fit a family schedule and a child’s abilities.
After-school and Saturday programs generally run 12 weeks (except for Little Linksters and Girls Golf) and teach golf and First Tee Life Skills classes to those ages 4-17. In these sessions, youngsters are exposed to The Life Skills Experience curriculum, which teaches The First Tee’s Nine Core Values, character development and The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits through the sport of golf.
Classes are available Monday through Friday, as well as Saturdays, at five locations: The Golf Park at Cinghiale Creek (1 mile northeast of Shallotte); St. James Plantation (the Reserve Club); Oak Island Golf Club; South Harbour Par 3 (Southport); Magnolia Greens Golf Club (Leland), and; Olde Fort Golf Club.
Classes begin the week of March 4. Saturday sessions start March 9. All classes end the week of June 3. There are no programs the weeks of April 1 and
May 27.
Fourteen classes are available, depending upon a child’s skill level. Check the schedule online for the various course offerings.
Equipment consisting of free golf clubs and golf balls is provided as needed. There is a $25 registration fee but tuition waivers are available upon request. No child will be turned away because of inability to pay.
Classes are taught on the course and in the classroom. These are the course levels:
Little Linksters: This is for those ages 4-6. Students use special Starting New at Golf equipment, consisting of oversized plastic golf clubs, targets and Velcro tennis balls and real golf clubs and ball. The classes meet from 4-15-5 p.m. for six weeks, with the first class on March 15. Linksters is offered only at Cinghiale Creek.
PLAYer: This is offered to those ages 7 or older. At this level, children are introduced to the concept of “what to do” before “how to do it.” The session runs 12 weeks. All new participants, regardless of age or experience, must begin at this level. At the coaches’ discretion, older and more advanced participants may be “fast-tracked” through to their age-appropriate level.
Par: For those 9 and older, this level emphasizes self-management and interpersonal skills. Session is for 12 weeks and participants must be PLAYer certified to register at this level.
Birdie: For those 11 and older, this 12-week session emphasizes goal setting and participants must be Par-certified to register at this level.
Eagle: For ages 13 and older, this  12-week session emphasizes resilience skills. Participants must be Birdie-certified to register at this level.
Ace: The highest level of programs, only offered at a few national chapters, is for those ages 14 and older. The sessions emphasize community involvement and giving back. Participants must be Eagle-certified and “invited” by the Ace coach to participate.
Girls Golf: This is offered for girls between the ages of 7 and 17, regardless of golf skill level. This class meets initially at Cinghiale Creek but will move to area golf courses. Girls Golf gives young ladies a special opportunity to learn the game of golf on a real golf course in a social environment. Classes begin at 4 p.m.
and will last until at least 5:30 p.m. These classes meet six weeks, with the first on March 8.
Register by enrolling thefirstteebrunswickcounty.org or by contacting coach Terry Mauney at (910) 754-5288. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer coach, please also call.