Quick 9 with Hagan

June 3, 2024 | Participant/Volunteer Spotlight

Hagan Smith is a former program participant who fell in love with the game of golf and the opportunities for self-discovery it presents. He later joined his high school golf team, and chose to give back to our Golf & Life Skills Program as a volunteer coach at Shadowmoss Golf & Country Club.

A new graduate of West Ashley High School, Hagan has accepted an Air Force Academy appointment—an achievement that speaks volumes of Hagan’s academic ability, work-ethic, and character. (Congratulations, Hagan!!)

We recently asked Hagan to share a little about his First Tee experiences and how those played a role in his journey. Here’s what he had to say…

1. What is your favorite part about playing golf?

My favorite part about playing golf is the challenge. I love a good challenge and pushing myself not only physically but also mentally. Playing with friends and being outside are also things I really enjoy.

2. What has First Tee taught you that applies to life beyond the course?

Golf has many outside advantages, it teaches integrity, respect, self-control, and lots of perseverance. All of which I arguably use in everyday life, whether it’s in school, at an event, in the gym, at practice, or even at home.

3. Why do you think a positive attitude is important?

A positive attitude is monumental to all things. A positive attitude allows your mind to open up past what it could when shut down and fogged. With an open and clear mind you can do anything, you can perform, put on your best face, and just be yourself which brings out the good.

Hagan with fellow volunteers and program participants at Country Club of Charleston.

4. How do you maintain a positive attitude?

I stay determined by not dwelling on the last shot, or what I could’ve done better. I like to focus on what the next task or current task is. This keeps my head clear, focused, and open to a new opportunity.  

5. Why are goals important?

Goals are important because they not only give you motivation and a reward you can grasp, but can also act as a guideline so you can stay on track.

6. What are some of your goals for the next year?

Strive in college, find and meet new friends and new people, figure out what I am really made of, challenge myself, and push myself to be my best.

Hagan with fellow volunteers and program participants at Country Club of Charleston.

7. How have you been preparing to achieve those goals?

I’ve been enrolled in difficult classes so the workload ahead will not as much of a surprise. I am trying to meet new people and new faces all the time to get better at that skill.

8. Who can you turn to if you need help? Do you feel like you have a ‘go-to team’?

I can turn to many people… mainly my parents and close friends. However, I know many trusted adults such as coaches, counselors, and teachers, and family friends.

9. What part of First Tee programming has been most impactful for you?

The most important things I’m taking away from my time with First Tee are the life lessons and the people I’ve met… friends and adults who cared and were there to make a positive impact. Looking back on what I learned and diving deeper at a more mature level helped me understand that it was much more than golf.

Thank you to Hagan for sharing and for volunteering his time to help other young people develop important social skills and positive self-identity!

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If you know a teen who would like to join us on-course, please share our program options and youth volunteer opportunities.