Programs & Instruction

Class Explanation and Level Progression


The First Tee Life Skills Experience is divided into four certification levels, starting with PLAYer for new participants and progressing through PLAYer, Par, Birdie, and Eagle.  Each level is taught seamlessly with a variety of golf skills. First Tee – Greater Pasadena also offers TARGET as an introduction to the Life Skills Experience, as well as an advanced level known as Ace.

Life Skills Education Classes

What is the difference between an Introduction/Intermediate Level Class and Advanced Level Classes?  Introduction and Intermediate Level Classes introduce youth to the game of golf.  Lessons are held on the practice areas and sometimes on the course.  The average participant to coach ratio is 6:1.

Advanced Level Classes are designed for current members who passed certification requirements from the PLAYer and Par levels of The First Tee Life Skills Curriculum.  To enroll into a PLAY League class, a Program Coordinator’s approval is needed.  The Program Coordinator will provide a separate registration link.

Introduction and Intermediate Level Classes

  • TARGET (Intro): ages 5-7;  Class is 1.0 hours in length
  • PLAYer (Intro): ages 8 and above;  Class is 1.5 hours in length
  • Par (Intermediate):  must be PLAYer Certified;  Class is 1.5 hours in length
  • TEEN (Intro & Intermediate):  equivalent to PLAYer level;  Class is 1.5 hours in length
  • TARGET Girl’s Class (Intro):  equivalent to TARGET;  Class is 1.0 hours in length
  • PLAYer Girl’s Class (Intro & Intermediate): equivalent to PLAYer;  Class is 1.5 hours in length

Advanced Level Classes

  • Par/Beginner Birdie PLAY League (SAT)
  • Birdie PLAY League (SAT)
  • Eagle PLAY League (SAT)

Class Explanation

TARGET: Children ages 5-7 who are new to golf or the First Tee Program.  In the TARGET level participants will use each letter in TARGET as a golf and life skill lesson.  Participants will be exposed to the driving range, chipping and pitching area and putting.  Fun games using SNAG equipment are also implemented into this level.  There is no testing in the TARGET Level.  Once a participant is able to demonstrate various golf fundamentals as well  as The First Tee Code of Conduct and is 7 years old, a First Tee – Greater Pasadena Coach will give a recommendation to move into the PLAYer level.

The First Tee Code of Conduct

Respect for myself

Respect for others

Respect for my surroundings

PLAYer:  Children ages 8 and above or participants who have progressed from the TARGET Level.  The PLAYer level is the introductory level of the First Tee Life Skills Experience.  PLAYer teaches participants how to play the game of golf with special emphasis on learning golf and the First Tee Nine Core Values.  These interpersonal and self-management skills will help participants develop much more than their golf game.  Testing is available after a participant is involved in at least 3 full sessions of PLAYer.

The Nine Core Values:

Respect, Courtesy Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship, Confidence, Judgment, Perseverance, Integrity

PAR: First Tee members who are PLAYer Certified.  The PAR level builds on the PLAYer level by introducing PLAYers to the mental side of golf while learning skills that will help them on and off the golf course.  The main focus of the PAR level is to assist PLAYers in acquiring several self-management techniques that will help them manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviors in order to perform at their best on and off the golf course.  Testing is available after a participant is involved in at least 4 full sessions of PAR.

The 4 R’s (example of a Par lesson)





BIRDIE: First Tee members who are PAR Certified.  Of all the life skills in The First Tee Life Skills Experience, goal-setting is one of the most important.  The BIRDIE class is an adventure in learning. BIRDIE level concepts are complex. It is a process that takes time to master, so we have broken it down into manageable pieces. To be successful as a BIRDIE here are some ASSUMPTIONS:

  1. Golf is your sport
  2. It is probably something you will always like to do
  3. You want to get better
  4. You are serious about it
  5. You are willing to work hard at getting better.

You will learn how to SUCCEED. Not just in golf , but in your life in general. Your will learn about your DREAMS–those pictures in your mind of what things will be like in the future, be it soon or when your are and adult. You will be given the tools to make your dreams come true. You will learn what to do when you encounter and obstacle or road block to your path to realizing your dream(s). You will be asked to play and practice outside of your classes. Some of your classes will be taught on the course which will require you to get out of your comfort zones, which you learned in Par, to fully appreciate the lesson being taught.

EAGLE: First Tee members who are BIRDIE Certified.  The EAGLE level is designed for PLAYers who have demonstrated a commitment to both the game of golf and to attaining an associated set of Golf and Life Skills.  The typical EAGLE level PLAYer will demonstrate his/her ability to apply life skills, will have displayed a progression of golf skills acquisition and performance, and have been a role model for the First Tee Code of Conduct and our 9 Core Values and 9 Healthy Habits.  Testing is available after a participant is involved in at least 12 full session of EAGLE plus 12 hours of volunteer time as a junior coach at the TARGET,  PLAYer or Par levels.

ACE: First Tee members who are EAGLE Certified.  The ACE level offers advanced instruction and practice in many of the Golf and Life Skills introduced in the PLAYer, PAR, BIRDIE and EAGLE levels.  ACE focuses on personal planning and reinforces interpersonal communication, self-management, goal-setting, self-coaching and resiliency skills that were applied in earlier levels of First Tee Life Skills Curriculum. ACE certification generally requires 2 years and is administered and monitored by a Nationally Recognized The First Tee Coach ONLY.

First Tee – Greater Pasadena Additional Classes

In addition to the First Tee Life Skills Certification Classes, the First Tee – Greater Pasadena has created supplementary classes which allow participants from our chapter to be exposed to the game of golf in various settings.  The concepts and/or curriculum for these classes have been created by First Tee – Greater Pasadena.

TEEN:  For youth ages 13 and above. The PLAYer and Par curriculum is used in this class.  The TEEN class will allow teenage participants the opportunity to participate in a class were students are in the junior high and high school age range.

Girl’s Class: Beginner Girls is form girls ages 5-7.  The Beginner Girls Class is equivalent to the TARGET level.  There is no certification in this level.  The Beginner Girls Class is instructed by female coaches.  PLAYer Girls Class is for girls ages 8 and above and is equivalent to the PLAYer level.  Female participants are eligible for certification testing after completing at least (3) full session  and have completed the PLAYer Yardage Book.

My Parent and Me Class:  For children ages 4-7 and a parent.  The child and (1) parent will be in the class together and be provided basic and introductory instruction.

PLAY Leagues: All PLAY Leagues will offer 1/2 hour of Life Skills Education and 1.5 hours of PLAY.  The PLAY concept will provide participants in the PLAYer, Par, Birdie and Eagle levels the opportunity to compete in various formats set-up by the coaching staff.  A coach’s recommendation is needed for this class.  Participants are required to carry/pull their clubs.  To register for a PLAY League, contact your The First Tee coach or the Program Coordinator.

Tournament Leagues: Open to all members of First Tee – Greater Pasadena from ages 8 to 17. This is a high school/college golf type of experience for those who wish to get the experience of competitive team play. Each team consists of up to 7 members who have qualified for the team and represent their respective golf course in an intramural setting. Matches are played weekly at a participating golf course  Seasons are seven consecutive weeks long which consist of six regular season matches and one championship match. Tournament league seasons are during spring, summer and fall only. For more details, see the Tournament League Page under the Programs Tab.

Progression through Golf/Life Skills Certification Classes

Participant entering First Tee between the ages of 5-7

Participant entering First Tee between the ages of 8-12

Participant entering First Tee between the ages of 13-18