If you have any additional questions, please contact Dolly Davis at [email protected].

What is the mission of First Tee – Greater Washington, DC?

First Tee is an international youth character development organization dedicated to the mission of impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

 Age-Based Updates FAQs

  • Why move to age-based programming?
    • Extensive research and feedback from participants and parents consistently shows 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 scholarships.
    • The switch will allow for kids to learn with kids their own age and progress with them.  Friends can learn and grow with their friends.
  • What are the age groups?
    • The age groups are: 7-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14+
  • What if my child ages up during the middle of a session?
    • The age a child is on the first day of any session will dictate what class they sign-up for. 
    • If a child has a birthday in the middle of a session that moves them up 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
  • Will there be an exception for siblings of different ages to be in the same group for convenience purposes if they are at the same skill level?
    • No, we will adhere to the age of participants. Accommodations will not be made for siblings. 
    • The curriculum is designed for the specific age groups, kids staying in their age group will ensure that kids are getting a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate.
  • Will my child lose their level?
    • Throughout 2022, First Tee will be sunsetting Levels and moving to a new system of measuring accomplishments and progression.  More information about this system is forthcoming. 
    • Levels will be used at a limited capacity for events outside of classes.
    • 2022 is a transition year, kids will receive recognition for their level accomplishments in some manner. 
  • How will the age-based classes affect the current level of progression? 
    • Kids will no longer test 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. 
    • Badges will be used to measure progression and accomplishments.
  • Will the whole structure of advancement change?
    • Yes, they will not advance based on skill but based on age.
    • Badges will be used to measure advancement.
  • How will more advanced players be taught in a class with those just learning the game?
    • Classes will be split up into smaller groups that are based on ability or by their previous program level (PLAYer, Par, Birdie or Eagle).
    • This will allow for each group to receive the skill instruction that’s appropriate for their skill level and ability.
    • The Life Skills Curriculum will be refreshed so there will be new information for both new and returning participants. 
  • How will eligibility for non-class opportunities be determined?
    • For 2022, previous levels will still be used to help determine eligibility for opportunities outside of classes. 
    • Coaches will help identify kids who are ready for non-class opportunities.  These kids then may need to complete additional steps prior to being eligible for the event. 
  • Will there be a breakout of groups?
    • Yes, these groups may be based on skill level or previous program level.
  • Will there be a basics class for beginners to learn the game so that advanced level players don’t have to go through basic instructions again?
    • If possible yes, but classes will be split into smaller groups to accommodate different skill levels and ability.
  • How will children be assessed (tested) using the age based system?
    • Participants will not move through different levels as in previous years.
    • Badges will replace assessments. Badges will be based on various accomplishments. 
    • The badge system will not be implemented right away, First Tee is still in the process of finalizing the system.
  • Will those advanced level children be out on the course with new children?
    • The amount of course time will not change for participants. 
    • Course-ready kids (or kids who are familiar with course play) may go out on the course during class, while those newer to the game will stay in the practice area and receive more instruction.
    • More course-ready kids will also serve as mentors to those who are new to the game. 
  • Will class duration change?
    • No, class times will stay the same as in previous years.
    • Class duration will be from 75-90 minutes (1.25 hours – 1.5 hours) depending on the site location and class.
  • Will it be harder for my child to get into a class because there is only a single day for that age group?
    • No, we have done research into the breakdown of each age group at various locations and used this data to create the schedule.
    • We will also adjust the class breakdown as necessary. 

General FAQs

  • How do I register for classes?
  • How old must my child be to register for classes?
    • Children must be seven (7) years old to eighteen (18) years old before registering for a class.  Children who are six (6) years old can be registered if they turn 7 before the first day of class.  The age of the child ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE SESSION dictates what Age Level they can register for, if they have a birthday during the session they can move into the next age group for the next session.
  • Does it matter where I live to enroll my child in classes?
    • There are no residency requirements.
  • Does my child need prior golf experience?
    • There is no prior golf experience needed.  Our coaches are trained in positive youth development.  That means they are experts in making young people feel comfortable and assure they have a positive, non-intimidating experience.
  • Is equipment provided or does my child need to bring clubs?
    • Equipment is provided at some locations.  Contact our office to determine which location will provide borrowed golf clubs.  Children may bring their own clubs.  We are not responsible for missing items.  Ensure your child gives borrowed clubs back to their coach before leaving the course.  And, ensure all personal clubs are in their bags before leaving class.
  • Where can I buy clubs for my child?
    • Our chapter has a partnership with US Kids where families can purchase clubs at a discounted price.  If you are interested in clubs for your participants, take a look at US Kids Website.  Once you know what you would like or have any questions, email Roger Brown, [email protected].
    • Clubs can also be bought at sporting goods stores or golf course pro-shops
  • Golf Giveaway Events
    • We offer two (2) giveaway events per year.  Registered participants can receive borrowed golf clubs, golf bags and more!  The Vernon Nelson Memorial Golf Giveaway in February and a Summer Golf Giveaway in July are FREE events families can enjoy.  The giveaway events are held in the parking lot at East Potomac Golf Links (Hains Point), 972 Ohio Drive, SW Washington, DC.  Parents can “shop til you drop” for donated clothing items, shoes and golf accessories.  Sizes and quantities are limited.  Raffles, prizes and games.  Bring your own shopping bag and have a family fun day!
  • When are classes held?
    • Classes are offered four (4) times per year: Spring I (mid-March to end-of-April); Spring II (end-of-April to mid-June); Summer (early July to end of August) and Fall (mid-September to mid-October.
  • When is registration held for each session?
    • Registration is usually held 30 days prior to the start of each session (i.e. early February for Spring I session that starts in March).  Classes fill quickly so please pay attention to emails when to register. Click here to access the registration portal.
  • Where are classes held?
    • Classes are held at several golf facilities throughout DC, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.  To find a location near you please visit our programs page.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, locations have changed due to safety precautions and restrictions set forth by our golf course partners.
  • Can I register for more than one class during the week?
    • No. The curriculum is offered at each location each day during any week of classes.  We ask that parents choose one class per week in a given session.  If a class is full you may register for the Wait List for that class, then choose another class at any location that may be an alternative.  If/when a class is available and you’re next on the Wait List, an automatic email will be sent to you to register for the vacancy.
  • What happens if my child ends up on a Waitlist?
    • If a class is full, sign up for the waitlist (if available).  If/when a vacancy occurs, you will receive a system generated email with registration instructions.  You will have 48 hours in which to register for the vacancy.  If you do not register within that period, the automatic message will revert to the next family on the waitlist until the class capacity has been achieved.  If you do register for the class, complete registration and submit for payment.  Your child will appear on our roster as registered.
  • When should I arrive to class?
    • We ask that all parents arrive 15 minutes prior to class start time.  This will allow all participants to receive any information from our coaches, staff or volunteers, receive any materials needed and warm-up prior to class.  Ensure your child uses the restroom or comfort station prior to class time and bring a water bottle.  If your child is late for class, we ask parents to walk their child to the class location.  After class, promptly pick up your child at the check-in area.
  • What happens if my child is absent from class? Will my child be offered a make-up class?
    • If your child is absent from class, we do not offer a make-up class.  We reiterate our curriculum each session so that participants will receive instructions they may have missed.
    • Further, we require that all children who receive Financial Aid from our program attend no less than 4 classes during their session enrollment.  They must arrive on time and be in good standing with our program to be considered for future aid.
  • What is the class duration?
    • Classes range from 1.25 – 1.5 hours long, depending on the location. 
  • Inclement Weather Policy
    • Our inclement weather policy varies by program location.  We will notify families by 2:00 pm or earlier weekdays; by 7:00am for weekend classes if the class will be cancelled.  If you do not receive an email from us, please assume that classes will commence as usual.  Please make sure to check your email.  We do our best to offer a make-up class for classes that are cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.  However, we will provide up to one (1) make-up class in any session.  Note that we reiterate our curriculum during each session so that participants will receive instruction they may have missed.
    • Please do not attempt to attend classes during extreme weather conditions (blustery winds, lightning, thunder, flooding, etc.). Classes will be cancelled and an email will alert everyone that class will be canceled for that day.
  • Refunds and Transfer Policy
  • Holiday Schedule
    • First Tee – Greater Washington, DC observes all Federal Holidays. Our offices will be closed and no classes held on Federal Holidays.  Please mark your calendars!
  • What should my child wear?
    • Children are required to wear neat attire including collared shirts (boys shirt tucked inside), shorts, pants, slacks, skorts (girls), golf shoes or sneakers and a hat or visor. NO holes in clothing, baggie jeans, spandex or gym shorts, football, soccer or baseball uniforms, flip flops or crocs allowed. Children should be dressed appropriately for the game of golf and according to weather conditions.
  • What are classes like? (What is the child-to-coaches ratio?)
    • Classes are implemented by trained coaching staff and volunteers. Class sizes are 6:1-8:1 ratio. Participants are grouped by age. Groups are led through a variety of golf skills on the course including putting, pitching, chipping and full-swing while the First Tee Life-Skills Experience is seamlessly included in the on-course curriculum.
  • What gate do I use to get to Fort Belvoir Golf Club?
    • Without DOD ID Card:
      • Weekdays: Use the Tulley Gate (9500 Pohick Rd, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060) off of Route 1 to enter the post.
      • Weekends: Use the Leiber Gate (off of Route 1 across from the Pence Gate)
    • With DOD ID Card use the Kingman Gate
  • Can parents volunteer as a coach with First Tee – Greater Washington, DC?
    • Adults may consider becoming a Volunteer. Please visit our Volunteer Page for more information.
    • Parents can assist the First Tee – Greater Washington DC (FTDC) staff in helping to determine the future direction of programming by communicating what participants want to receive from their program.
    • Communicate to fellow parents on the activities of the Chapter (i.e., Parent Newsletter).
    • Volunteer during check-in time for programming and help in the organization of the East Potomac Club donation room (when needed).
    • Assist with golf give-away events held twice per year (sorting wearable items, clubs, accessories, coordination and set-up).  Annual events will be announced via email to all families in our system
    • Help recruit new participants and parents, who have not previously heard of First Tee
  • Can my child with special needs attend class?
    • We accept children with special needs. However, we understand that there are children that may have cognitive, emotional and physical disabilities therefore we may not be able to accommodate some participants due to program location accessibility. We respectfully request parents to contact us to discuss their child’s needs.
  • My child is an Honor Roll student. Will he/she receive recognition?
    • Yes! First Tee recognizes A/B Honor Roll recipients with a Certificate of Achievement twice per year (Spring & Fall). Parents provide us with notification during registration and we’ll ensure their child(ren) receives recognition of achievement.
  • Does your chapter visit community groups with your program?
    • First Tee – Greater Washington, DC offers Outreach programming at community sites throughout the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Outreach is designed as an introduction to First Tee Life Skills Experience. It was developed to introduce young people to golf in a safe environment that promotes curiosity about the game while integrating essential links between golf and life skills seamlessly. These early, positive experiences may help young people develop an immediate interest in opportunities available at First Tee, as well as a life-long interest in the game of golf. Groups such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington, DC, DC Parks & Recreation, Arlington Parks & Recreation, National Capitol YMCA, Girls Scouts of the Nations Capital and many more are represented by our Outreach program offering.
  • Emergency contact information
    • In the event of an emergency during which your child needs immediate medical assistance we ask our parents to provide us with an emergency contact during registration.  Please ensure this information is listed so that in case of an emergency we can contact either the parent/guardian or family member.
  • Private Lessons at an area Golf Course
    • If you’d like to obtain private lessons for your family, search a golf course near your home or use our Locator to find a golf course.  Many golf courses offer private or small group lessons for adults and juniors.  To find a golf course in our territory, go to our programs page.
  • Your First Visit to a Golf Course
    • Going to the golf course for the first time is a great way to learn more about the game of golf, the rich history of the game and brings a lifetime of family fun. We are fortunate in the DC Metro Area to have a number of public courses you and your family can visit.  Search a golf course near your home and view their website or you can visit one of our program locations. Find information regarding their hours of operation and clarify location directions if needed.  Give them a call to see if they’re open as all golf course hours are not the same.
  • Things to remember when you visit a golf course:
    • It’s a good idea to dress the sport by wearing golf clothing when visiting any golf course. A collared shirt, khaki pants, shorts or skorts for ladies, short socks, golf shoes or sneakers, a hat or visor.  No jeans, flip-flops/slides, athletic gear (football, basketball, soccer), ripped, tight or revealing clothing.
    • Bring your clubs when visiting a golf course. Keep a minimum of 3 practice golf balls in your bag. Leave your golf bag and clubs outside the building.  Posted signs show a place to secure your items.
    • Read all signs when you arrive to any golf course. Be aware of your surroundings, where you are parked, where you are walking and facility directions.
    • Remember all golf courses do not offer First Tee programming.  Check out locations to find where classes are held.
    • Visit the Pro Shop upon arrival for information about the golf course, practice areas, rates and fees, classes, learn basic rules and protocols. Don’t be shy to ask questions.
    • Ask about group or individual golf classes with a professional instructor. Consider one-on-one professional instructions for your child to help them with their development.  This option makes a great gift or incentive for good behavior and a job well done.
    • Use of the driving range, putting green(s) and chipping/pitching area(s) are free of charge. The only cost is to purchase driving range balls at the Pro Shop. Fees for range balls are offered.
    • Practice areas are quiet places. Keep your voices low to limit distractions when others are using the course.
    • Bring bottled water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized or visit the snack bar or grille (check for availability). Facilities usually offer indoor and outdoor seating areas.
    • Please use recycling areas where posted and dispose of trash properly.
    • When you’ve ended your day of practice ensure you have all your clubs and items with you prior to leaving the practice areas.
    • Remember you can always ask your First Tee coach for advice while visiting the golf course