New, Age-Based Curriculum Launching Spring 2023

December 27, 2022 | Chapter News

This spring all First Tee chapters across the country will modernize their Golf & Life Skills Programs to better meet the needs of kids and teens. This transformation will match the way nearly all other youth sports and programs are arranged as well as meet the surveyed preference of kids and their parents to keep participants in groups of a similar age.

While we are excited about this change, we realize that parents and program participants may have questions, which is why we created the following FAQs with the help of First Tee – Greater Charleston coaches and parents.

Age-Based Curriculum FAQs

Why move to age-based programming?

  • Extensive research and feedback from participants and parents consistently show that age-appropriate programming will increase both engagement and retention of kids, especially older youth.
  • Registration will be simpler as parents are familiar with age-based as most sports and activities are set up this way.
  • As participants stay with us longer, they will be eligible for more life-changing experiences and opportunities including college scholarships and national academies.
  • The switch will allow for kids to learn with kids their own age and progress with them. Friends can learn and grow up with their friends.

What are the age groups?

  • 5-6
  • 7-9
  • 10-11
  • 12-13
  • 14+

What happens if my child ages up during the season?

  • The age a child is on the first day of any session will dictate what class they sign up for that season.
  • If a child has a birthday in the middle of a session that qualifies them for a new group, they will remain in the current class until the next session. For example, a child turning 10 in the middle of a session will remain in the 7–9-year-old class.

How will age-based classes affect current level of progression?

  • Kids no longer complete assessments to move into a new level. Once they reach the new age group, they will automatically move into the next age group.
  • Progression will be measured through a new badge system, estimated to launch in 2024.
  • First Tee Headquarters is currently in the development phase for a digital badging system to keep track of participant progression.

How will more advanced players be taught in a class with those who are just beginning to learn the game?

  • Especially during the first few seasons as we navigate this age-based transition, classes will remain small to best instruct all participants.
  • Classes will also be split up into smaller groups for certain activities to better educate all kids.
  • The Life Skills Curriculum has been refreshed so there will be new information for both new and returning participants.

Will class duration change?

All classes will still be 8-weeks long. Class times may change slightly, based on your child’s age:

  • 5–6-year-olds: 45 minutes per week
  • 7–9-year-olds: 1 hour per week
  • 10–11-year-olds: 1 hour per week
  • 12–13-year-olds: 1.25 hours per week
  • 14–18-year-olds: 1.5 hours per week

Will the lottery system change?

  • We have reviewed age group data at all program locations. This data will dictate program schedules for 2023.
  • For at least the first season of age-based programs (Spring 2023), all participants will take part in the lottery to create the fairest system of registration.

Will there be an exception for siblings of different ages to be in the same group if they are at the same skill level?

  • No, we will adhere to the age of every participant to enhance program engagement. Accommodations will not be made for siblings.
  • The curriculum is designed for the specific age groups, and we want to ensure that all children receive a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate.

Contact Us to Learn More

We hope these FAQs have helped to address some of the more common questions about age-based curriculum. If additional questions arise, please contact our Program Director, Meghan Taylor, for assistance.