FabGolf, now part of FirstTee-Rhode Island Chapter, launched in April 2021. This program gives kids with little or no experience the opportunity to learn a sport for a lifetime and to connect to career opportunities. Through a combination of on-course and off-course activities that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices, the program is now offered year-round to provide opportunities for local youth, particularly those identified as low to moderate income.
In addition, Fab Golf has exposed students to 14 golf related careers, conducted over 200 hours of course time instruction/playing time, and connected 10 adults with developmental disabilities to golf.
Unlike traditional youth golf programs that focus only on the sport, FabGolf has an equal emphasis on the careers in the golf industry. Our youth learn about 14 different career pathways associated with the Golf industry: Horticulture (greens keeping, grounds maintenance, irrigation), Caddying, Golf Instruction /Professional, Culinary Arts, Event Management, Retail (pro shop, apparel, branding), and General Business Management (human resources, legal, marketing). In addition, we use golf as a pathway to expose students to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) related activities via learning about the mechanics and art of making golf clubs.
These lessons for life are taught through a variety of golf-related activities designed with the primary goal of having fun. Participants learn about themselves and others through a range of experiences enhancing their golf skills as well as their fundamental values for life. As their opportunities on the golf course expand, so do the opportunities for their futures.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
An independent research study* confirmed that youth involved in the First Tee Life Skills Experience (the curriculum delivered at chapters) learn and use life skills on the golf course and transfer these skills to other areas of their life. In fact, 100% of First Tee participants interviewed said they transferred life skills learned at First Tee to school. Seventy-eight percent are transferring skills such as decision making, setting goals and managing their emotions from the golf course to other areas of their lives including situations with friends, family, after school activities and jobs. The study also revealed the First Tee Life Skills Experience’s ability to impart core values on youth. After participating in First Tee for three years, 73% reported high confidence in their academic ability and 82% felt confident in their social abilities with peers.
*“Longitudinal Effects of The First Tee Life Skills Education Program on Positive Youth Development” led by University of Minnesota’s Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D. from 2005 to 2008. Visit www.firsttee.org to read the full summary report.