Program Levels


From age 7 through 18, youth progress through levels by demonstrating The First Tee Nine Core Values, life and golf skills as well as passing an assessment. All participants regardless of age start at the PLAYer level. The primary purpose of The First Tee Certification is to ensure every participant certified has acquired a designated level of golf and life skills proficiency.

The First Tee curriculum offers five progressive levels of golf and life skills instruction: PLAYer, PAR, BIRDIE, EAGLE and ACE. PLAYer is recommended for all new participants that are 7 years and older and is the first level of certification. From there, each participant must complete PAR Level programs. A participant that meets the minimum age requirement and has completed a PAR class is eligible to become PAR certified. Once PAR is completed and the participant has been certified, they are able to advance to BIRDIE level, and the same process continues. The pinnacle of The First Tee is completing Ace. Contact First Tee staff at at 760-799-1877 for more information about programming and registration.




Little Linkster is an introduction to The First Tee Program. Using SNAG (Starting New At Golf) equipment (large, safe plastic golf equipment), young children are exposed to the game of golf in a fun, safe environment. No previous golf experience or certification is necessary.


PLAYER (ages 7 and above)

The PLAYer program is The First Tee's introductory class level. Emphasis is placed on introducing participants to the game of golf and The First Tee Code of Conduct. PLAYer fosters an appreciation for the course, the equipment, the rules and proper etiquette. There are three levels, PLAYer 3, 6 and 9. Regardless of age and experience, all NEW participants ages 7 and up will begin in a PLAYer class:

PLAYer 3- Ages 7 & 8

PLAYer 6- Ages 9 & 10

PLAYer 9-Ages 11 & 12

PLAYer TEEN - Ages 13-18


PAR (PLAYer Certified, minimum age 9)

PAR is the second level of The First Tee program. Students must be certified out of PLAYer 9 level curriculum to be considered for eligibility. Curriculum focuses on interpersonal skills and self management. Participants learn how to introduce themselves, respect others and keep a positive attitude while learning something new. Life skills are introduced through basic golf skills, rules, and etiquette.


BIRDIE (PAR Certified, minimum age 11)

BIRDIE focuses primarily on goal setting. The curriculum teaches developing goals, goal ladders (plans/steps to achieving goals) and how to deal with challenges when faced with adversity. Golf skills focus on advanced putting and short game development, competitive play, and more comprehensive instruction on the rules of golf.


EAGLE (BIRDIE Certified, minimum age 13)

EAGLE continues to build and apply all information learned in PLAYer, PAR, and BIRDIE. The curriculum teaches developing resilience skills conflict resolution, and planning for the future. Golf skills focus on course experience and course management.


ACE (EAGLE Certified, minimum age 13)

ACE is the final and most advanced level of The First Tee experience. The curriculum teaches personal planning for golf, career, volunteerism, and education. This curriculum is taught through 4 projects that the participants will complete. Golf skills focus on more advanced course experience, course management, and competition.