School Skills Challenges

Our First Tee-Indiana  leaders developed a special program for our First Tee School Program partners.  This unique event gives students, many who have never been to a golf course, an opportunity to visit one of our green grass programming sites and experience golf on a real course using real golf clubs.  Ten attending students from each school are selected by their P.E. teachers. On challenge day, the students will compete in a 9-hole skills event. Students answer First Tee core value questions at each of the nine stations that include putting, chipping/pitching, irons and wood shots. T-shirts are provided to the students and teachers and are color coordinated with their respective school colors. Lunch is also provided before students and teachers board their buses and return to school with the winners carrying a traveling trophy to present to their principal.  

On May 19th, 11 Fort Wayne Community Schools gathered at Brookwood Golf Course and McMillan Park Golf Course  to participate in the first events in their area. “I had the privilege of spending a few hours at McMillen with our students and staff. There were six schools at McMillen and Brookwood hosted 5 schools. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to be exposed to the game of golf, at a golf course, on a beautiful spring day. Laughter and excitement filled the air as our students enjoyed the day,” Jennifer Matthias, FWCS Board of Trustees.

In order to facilitate the School Skills Challenge days, First Tee-Indiana  provides funding for .5 day substitutes for the P.E. teachers and pays for the use of the school corporation buses and drivers. All participating students receive an invitation to attend a local green grass program free of charge via scholarship opportunities. 

All together, First Tee reached 260 kids this May through  five School Skills Challenge days. “It’s great to see kids utilizing the skills they worked on at school come alive on the golf course. Their excitement for trying something new is very encouraging.   We hope to see many of these students in our green grass programs this summer,” said Ali Beam, Senior Director of Programming.   

Along with the Fort Wayne Challenges, Klondike Elementary from the Tippecanoe School Corporation piloted a Challenge day at West Lafayette Golf & Country Club. With school administrators present, we are sure to expand the program in the greater Lafayette area next year. Our longest running challenge site at Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington welcomed seven teams from Monroe County Community Schools.  Both Franklin & Greenwood Community Schools competed at Otte Golf Center in early May with Webb Elementary taking home this year’s prize. “My students had a blast and all the schools had such great kindness and sportsmanship!  Can not wait until next year.” Ryan Macy, Greenwood Community Schools.