Responsibility: An important core value at The First Tee

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By Mike Gildea
Coach and TFTBC Board of Directors
The First Tee is not just about golf. It’s about teaching our students about the Nine Core Values and giving our young people the life skills necessary to make good choices that enable them to be successful in life. This month, our featured First Tee Core Value is responsibility.
The First Tee defines responsibility as “accounting for one’s actions, being dependable.”
In golf, you are responsible for yourself and your actions on the golf course. It is up to you to keep score, repair divots, rake bunkers, repair ball marks on the green and keep up the pace of play.
Landon Patterson, a 14-year-old ace level student with The First Tee of Brunswick County noted that for him responsibility on the golf course means “arriving early for your tee time so that you’re ready to tee it up on time, maintaining a reasonable pace of play so that all players on the course can enjoy their round, keeping an accurate scorecard and playing by the rules.”
“Oh, and taking care of the course, too,” he added.
Derris Burns, a 12-year-old birdie level student, talked about responsibility in terms of her home life.
“Doing what your parents ask, like getting your chores done on time or taking care of your brothers and sisters,” she said. “That’s also the way you show your parents respect—another important core value.”
At school, Devin McAdoo, a 13-year-old soon-to-be eagle level student, chimed in about responsibility at school saying, “It’s about being on time, bringing your books and supplies, paying attention in class, asking questions, doing your homework and getting good grades. If you’re responsible, you’re also reliable and trustworthy, which means people will respect you back.”
Birdie coach Bob Kirkpatrick, who’s been coaching at The First Tee for more than five years, points out, “We instill in our The First Tee kids a sense of responsibility in the classes, too, by asking them to come early to practice, bring their clubs, listen to their coaches, ask questions and, most importantly, have fun.”
At the recent Future Generation’s Golf Tournament sponsored by TFTBC, Landon, Devin and Devin all exemplified responsibility when they joined a cadre of 20 The First Tee participants on tournament day. They all came early to the tournament to meet and greet the golfers that had signed up to play.
“Giving back to your church, community, school, family and The First Tee is for all of us a big part of what responsibility means,” Landon said.
Responsibility: A lesson well learned by these First Tee students and all of the other youngsters in the TFTBC.