Who We Are
We build experiences that build character.
We exist to enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.
With the belief that all kids deserve the chance to grow in a supportive environment with mentors guiding them, we are dedicated to building programs that are accessible, welcoming, and as impactful as they are fun.
About Our Chapter & Our History
First Tee – Connecticut is reaching thousands of youth each year through a variety of ways including School & Community Programs, Group Lessons, Squads, On-Course Team Programs and Summer Camps. Along with golf instruction, the First Tee’s Life Skills Curriculum; based on Nine Core Values; Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Courtesy, Judgment, Confidence, Responsibility and Perseverance introduces young people to skills associated with positive youth development.
Recognizing that the game of golf embodies these core values, First Tee – Connecticut believes that participating in programs will improve the lives of those who embrace the game’s traditions and values. First Tee – Connecticut, originally and legally known as the Connecticut Golf Foundation, is a 501 (c) (3) organization. The Connecticut Golf Foundation was created to expose golf to underprivileged youth who might not normally have access to the game. The driving force behind the Connecticut Golf Foundation’s creation in 1997 was the Connecticut State Golf Association (CSGA).
A separate organization, The First Tee of Hartford, began operations in 1999 with the same basic goals as the Connecticut Golf Foundation. Recognizing the need to maximize the effectiveness of both programs, the Connecticut Golf Foundation formally merged operations with The First Tee of Hartford in May of 2004. The Boards and staff of the two organizations combined into a single organization publicly named The First Tee of Connecticut. First Tee – Connecticut has a volunteer Board of Directors with diverse representation from throughout Connecticut. In 2019 First Tee – Connecticut reached out to over 70,000 young people and had over 2,100 participants enroll in certifying programs at golf facilities across the state. Since that time, and following the COVID pandemic, the chapter has worked tirelessly to renew existing partnerships while creating new ones, with a goal of returning to, and exceeding, that level of participation. In 2022, First Tee – Connecticut introduced over 54,000 young people to its programs.
Beginning in 2022 First Tee – Connecticut assumed responsibility for the Golf Operations of Goodwin Park Golf Course. This is a full circle moment for the chapter as this is the same facility where First Tee was founded in 1999. This opportunity at Goodwin Park comes in part as a result of the recent efforts of the City of Hartford’s Golf Course Working Group and First Tee — Connecticut’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce. Both organizations will continue working together to address issues of access to and awareness of the game of golf within the Hartford community.
First Tee Parents’ Guide
The First Tee’s Parents’ Guide offers a comprehensive summary of First Tee’s mission, programs and participant opportunities. Information is available about the Nine Core Values, Nine Healthy Habits and Coach Building Blocks.