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

The mission of First Tee – Greater Washington, DC is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life enhancing values through the game of golf.

Registration Questions

What are the age groups for classes?

The age groups are:

  • 7-9
  • 10-11
  • 12-13
  • 14+

Some locations or classes may combine age groups

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.
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 second hand stores, i.e. Salvation Army or GoodWill, online retailers, i.e. Amazon, Facebook Markeplace or at major retailers, i.e. Target or Walmart.  Sporting goods stores, i.e. Dick’s, PGA Tour Superstores or golf course Pro-shops throughout the area carry golf equipment, clothing and accessories.
  • We also offer two  (2) giveaway events per year.  Registered participants can receive gently used golf clubs, golf bags and more!  The Vernon Nelson Memorial Golf Giveaway is offered in the Winter and a Summer Golf Giveaway is during the summer months.  These are FREE events families can enjoy.  The giveaways are held in the parking lot at East Potomac Golf Links (on Hains Point), 972 Ohio Drive, SW Washington, DC.  Parents can “shop til you drop” for donated gently used and new clothing items, shoes and golf accessories.  Sizes and quantities are limited.  Arrive early for best selections. Raffles and prizes are offered and Free mini-golf or range balls are offered with a ticket.  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.
Can I register for more than one class at more than one location during a session?
  • No
  • The curriculum is offered at each location in our territory on specific days each week during any given session.  Therefore, we kindly ask that parents choose one class at one location during any session.  We are a high retention program with waitlists.  Choosing multiple classes during any session causes duplicate enrollment and prohibits a waiting child from joining us.  If a class is full you may register for the waitlist for a class.  If/when a vacancy occurs and your child is next on the waitlist, you will receive a system generated email with a link to register for the vacancy.  You will have 48 hours in which to successfully register for that class.  If you successfully register for the class, let us know immediately as we don’t receive notifications that class capacity has been fulfilled.  We will then add your child to our roster.  If you miss the 48 hour deadline, you will need to go back into the parent portal, login to your account and re-register.
What happens if my child ends up on a Waitlist?
  • If/when a vacancy occurs and a child is next on the waitlist, the household (parent) will receive a system generated email with a link to register.  The household will have 48 hours to enroll thir child in the class.  If the household does not successfully complete enrollment within that time period, they will lose the slot.  If the household successfully completes enrollment, please contact the Registrar immediately.  After notification, the roster with the new registrant information will be updated.

Class Questions

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 and age group.

What is your Inclement Weather Policy
  • Our inclement weather policy varies by program location.  We will notify families 2 hours prior to the start of class 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 (heavy consistent rain, blustery winds, lightning and thunder, tornado warning within 10 miles, flooding, etc.). Classes will be cancelled and an email will alert everyone that class will be canceled for that day.
What is the Refund and Transfer Policy
What is the Holiday Schedule?

First Tee – Greater Washington, DC observes all Federal Holidays. Our offices will be closed. Coaches will determine if a class will take place on the holiday.

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 happens during a class?

Classes are conducted by First Tee trained ccoaches and volunteers.  Classes 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.  All parents must go throguh our chapter volunteer process.
  • 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.
  • Parents will not be grouped with their child during classes – they will either be in a differnt group or class.
  • 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.
What should I bring to the first class?
  • Bring Golf Clubs (Loaner clubs will be offered if you don’t have clubs)
  • Bring a Full Water Bottle
  • Wear Golf or tennis shoes (NO sandals, flip flips, or Crocs)
  • Dress for any weather
  • Eat before coming to class
  • A positive attitude and a willingness to learn
  • Leave headphones at home
  • Wear Sunscreen and Bug Spray (some locations can have lots of bugs)
  • Be prepared to be outside for the entire length of class

Additional Questions

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.
What do I need to know when I visit the 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

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