Why Golf?

Experiences are our greatest teacher. First Tee believes in developing the ones that are just as fun as they are meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way next. Through our personal growth and junior golf programs, we see kids’ build self confidence, inspiring more active participation in leadership opportunities and events, community involvement, and college scholarships.

Our Programs

First Tee—South Dakota offers programs and instruction which focus on developing life skills using the game of golf as its vehicle. The First Tee—South Dakota has programming in Sioux Falls at Elmwood Golf Course, as its main location, with additional program locations in Aberdeen at Moccasin Creek CC and Lee Park Golf Course, Brookings at Edgebrook Golf Course, Dell Rapids at Rocky Run Golf Course, Madison at Madison Country Club, Rapid City at Hart Ranch Golf Course, and Yankton at Hillcrest Country Club.

On the Golf Course

Junior golf is just part of First Tee. Through our program that strengthens character, kids will learn life skills that stay with them into the rest of their lives, like:

  • Understanding and managing emotions
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Setting up step-by-step goals
  • Planning for the future
  • Appreciating diversity

Advancing through the Program

Participants progress through levels by demonstrating inner strength, character, and the life and golf skills they have learned. All participants regardless of age start at the PLAYer level.

  • Introduction to the First Tee program (ages 5 and older)
  • PLAYer (required minimum age 7) – Tee it up for the first time and learn the game of golf and First Tee’s Code of Conduct
  • Par (recommended minimum age 9) – Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the course
  • Birdie (recommended minimum age 11) – Emphasis on setting goals and making them a reality
  • Eagle (recommended minimum age 13) – Learn resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning
  • Ace (required minimum age 14 or entering 9th grade) – Put it all together and hone in on setting goals, career education, and giving back to the community