For many participants, The First Tee program will be new experience. In addition to meeting other young people from different backgrounds, they will be exposed to golf in a fun environment that emphasizes courtesy, honesty, self-discipline, and respect. Let us re-emphasize that the length of time needed to graduate from one level to the next will vary from student to student. It is not a race, but a journey that assures each student receives the necessary tools to have a fun and rewarding life on and off the golf course.

The First Tee of Tuscaloosa County’s, 8-week, golf and life skills classes meet once a week for 1.5 hours, and incorporate positive life skills with quality golf instruction. Five progressive levels of instruction are offered: Pre-Par, Par, Birdie, Eagle, and Ace. Members must pass all of the requirements necessary to become certified at their current level, before advancing to more advanced programming levels. The programming levels are described on the following pages:

Player Level

The Player Level is the first of five levels that The First Tee teaches, and is recommended for younger students who have had no prior exposure to the game. The life skills curriculum that we teach will help participants grow as individuals.  There is no certification process associated with the Player Level.

Player Life Skills

  • Anyone can play (Diversity)
  • Respect (Showing respect)
  • Golf is a game (Challenges)
  • Enjoy it! (Good attitude + Positive Approach)
  • Try it! (Golf is a game)

Player Golf Skills

  • Basic safety, beginning ball striking skills
  • Golf challenges and playing options
  • Following golf rules and facility care
  • Overcoming golf’s challenges
  • Golf strategy and problem solving
  • Play 1-2 holes of golf

Par Level Certification

To ensure that participants can demonstrate and apply the golf and life skills specified in The First Tee Program, we are required to implement The First Tee Certification Process. Each participant must successfully master the following life skills and golf skills requirements before advancing to the next level. The Par Level is the second of four levels in The First Tee program. Par classes and leagues will teach and emphasize the following lessons to help students prepare for successfully achieving Par Certification. The Par Level Certification requirements are:

Par Level
Life Skills Requirements

  • RESPECT (Interpersonal Skills and Self-Management)
  • MEETING AND GREETING (Interpersonal Skills)
  • Having fun while you learn (Self-Management)
  • Staying Cool (Self-Management)
  • Personal Par (Self-Management)
  • Written Life Skills Evaluation

Par Level
Golf Skills Requirements

  • PLAYING REQUIREMENT
  • Putting Skills
  • Short Game Skills
  • Full-Swing Skills (Fairways)
  • Full-Swing Skills (Greens)

Birdie Level Certification

The Birdie Level of The First Tee Program is the third of five levels that students will journey through while The First Tee program.  The students who enter this level have shown a commitment to the program by successfully passing all the Par level requirements.  The Birdie level will build upon the fundamentals learned in Par and the students will begin a series of life skills modules that will teach them the importance of setting goals.  To enroll in the Birdie level your must have complete all the requirements from the Par level (Par Certified).

The life skills curriculum in the Birdie Level will deal with developing goals, goal ladders (plans/steps to achieving their goals), and how to deal with challenges when face with adversity. The golf skills in this level focus on advanced putting and short game skills, competitive play and a more intense instruction in the rules of golf.  Developing goals for their golf game and working independently to achieve those goals.  The Birdie Level class and league will teach and emphasize the following:

Birdie Level
Life Skills Requirements

  • Dreams and Goals (Goal-Setting)
  • Goal-Setting (Goal-Setting and Self-Management)
  • Goal Ladders (Self-Management and Goal-Setting)
  • Dealing With Challenges
    • (Interpersonal Skills, Self-Management and Goal-Setting)
  • Written Evaluation

Birdie Level
Golf Skills Requirements

  • Playing Requirement
  • Putting Skills
  • Short Game Skills
  • Full-Swing Skills (Fairways)
  • Full-Swing Skills (Greens)

Eagle Level

The Eagle Level is a huge achievement. Students in this level have shown a commitment to The First Tee Program and to the game of golf.  To get this far young people have had to be committed to the life skills program.  The young people who will be enrolled in this level will be leaders, mentors and role models for younger students coming up through the program and will be eligible to participate in national The First Tee activities such as the National Academy and The First Tee Scholars Program.

In this level students learn about health and wellness, building a support team, dealing with conflicts, appreciating diversity and planning for the future.  The golf skills, children will focus on getting the most out of their practice sessions, learning to self-check their swings, improving their accuracy and course management.

Eagle Certification
Life Skills Requirements

  • Wellness
    • (Self-Management, Goal-Setting, and Resistance Skills)
  • Go-To-Team
    • (Interpersonal Skills, Self-Management and Resistance Skills)
  • Diversity (Interpersonal Skills and Self-Management)
  • Dealing With Conflicts (Interpersonal Skills, Self-Management and Resistance Skills)
  • Go-To-Person (Interpersonal Skills and Self-Management)
  • Planning For The Future (Self-management and Goal-Setting)
  • Written Evaluation

Eagle Certification
Golf Skills Requirements

  • Playing Requirements
  • Putting Skills
  • Short Game Skills
  • Full-Swing Skills (Fairways)
  • Full-Swing Skills (Greens)