Empowering Youth through Golf The First Tee of Central Florida 2018 Annual Review

Our Mission: To positively impact the lives of Central Florida youth by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through golf.

The First Tee's Nine Core Values

The First Tee has established Nine Core Values that represent some of the many inherently positive values connected with the game of golf.

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

The First Tee's Nine Healthy Habits

The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits were created through a collaboration among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children to promote healthy, active lifestyles for young people. The healthy habits are a list of nine health and wellness topics presented as a part The First Tee, formatted for easy understanding and learning by elementary-age students and chapter participants.


  • Energy
  • Play
  • Safety


  • Mind
  • Vision
  • Family


  • Friends
  • School
  • Community
The First Tee has so many different concepts and principles that have helped me greatly when I find myself in certain situations in both life and golf. They help me make the best choice for myself, others, and my surroundings. Some of my key learnings include the following acronyms: GAME, STAR, and the Four R’s.
One of the key principles of the First Tee that has impacted me the most are The Nine Core Values. The values I follow the most are Respect and Perseverance. I always respect my friends, parents, teachers, and other adults, no matter what. In everything, primarily school, I always try my hardest and my best to complete everything, I never give up when things start to get difficult. I keep on trying and pushing until my goal is accomplished.


Participant at The First Tee of Central Florida since 2014

2018 Highlights

January 2018

The First Tee of Central Florida Program Alumnus Matthew Large explains the programs available for kids that develop leadership and golf skills.

February 2018

Participant Bobby Sena was featured on Golf Channel's Morning Drive with The First Tee Headquarters Staff Member Megan Pak to talk about The First Tee's Nine Healthy Habits

March 2018

Over 300 participants from The First Tee of Central Florida participated in The First Tee of Central Florida Youth Day at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard. Highlighted by a junior clinic with Smylie Kaufman, teenaged participants also served as standard bearers for the Champions for Arnies Kids Pro-Am.

March 2018

Arnold Palmer Invitational Junior Course Reporter

Sara, a 16-year-old sophomore at University High School and member of The First Tee of Central Florida since 2013, served as WKMG News 6's junior golf correspondent shadowing Sports Director Jamie Seh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Through the day, Sara had the opportunity to interview Tournament COO Marci Doyle, Player and Host Rickie Fowler, and Player and Grandson of Arnold Palmer, Sam Saunders.

Following the day, Jamie Seh highlighted Sara on their newscast.

Sara blogged about her experience, you can learn more and watch some of her interviews by clicking here.

March 2018

Wells Fargo "Succeeding Together" Brings PGA TOUR Pros to The First Tee. In collaboration with Wells Fargo's "Succeeding Together" Program, The First Tee of Central Florida held a private clinic with PGA TOUR Professional Chesson Hadley. Hadley provided participants with tips and demonstration inspiring our participants to become the best they could be.

April 2018

Topanga Sena is designated a The First Tee Scholar and KPMG Future Leader

The KPMG Future Leaders Program awards 20 top, high school senior female students from around thecountry with a $10,000 a year scholarship for 4 years of college, three-day leadership retreat at Stanford University, and one year mentoring program. Following Topanga’s selection, she was hand-picked by Dr. Rice to join two other Future Leaders (out of the 20 selected) to be on stage with her during the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Chicago. During the two day trip, Topanga had the opportunity to spend valuable time with Dr. Rice as well as KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie and capped off her trip by telling her story and the impact The First Tee and the game of golf has had on her life in front of hundreds of women at the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.

In addition to being designated a KPMG Future Leader, Topanga was also recognized as a The First Tee Scholar. Topanga joined 74 other high school seniors in The First Tee Network who excel in academics, leaedership, character development, and community involvement.

May 2018

The First Tee of Central Florida Adds 2 New Program Locations

In May, The First Tee of Central Florida added Royal St. Cloud Golf Links delivered by the Royal St. Cloud Academy of Golf and Oaks National Golf Club to it's list of Program Locations delivering The First Tee's Golf & Life Skill Experience.

May 2018

World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee Dennis Walters meets with local 4th Graders

In May, Dennis Walters along with his sidekick Bucky, presented his Golf Show to 175 4th Graders from Mill Creek Elementary School. While the rain kept the participants inside, the students received a lesson in perseverance and never ever giving up on their dreams!

May 2018

The First Tee of Central Florida hosts its first ever Path to College Seminar

Junior Golf Instructor, Henry Brunton, who has placed over 200 juniors to collegiate Golf Teams, provided a road map for participants to follow to accomplish their dreams.

June 2018

PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee Surprise Announcement

The First Tee of Central Florida Participants Kaleb and Cole are surprised to learn they're participating in the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee.

August 2018

The First Tee of Central Florida Hosts its 2nd Annual Dan Rich Family Golf Day

The Dan Rich Family Golf Day is a fun day where families can play golf together through three fun events: a Family Scramble and Golf Course Scavenger Hunt, a Family Skills Clinic for Family Members who don't play, and a Junior Shootout. The day is highlighted by a big group lunch where all of the day's attendees have the opportunity to interact. This year's event had 25 families participate.

September 2018

Kaleb and Cole participate in the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee at Pebble Beach Golf Links

Kaleb featured on Golf Channel hitting a shot from the fairway bunker on the 10th hole at Pebble Beach to make birdie. Watch the footage here.

Cole made birdie on the famous 17th hole at Pebble Beach and summarized his week with a great blog.

December 2018

Data shows empowerment, value growth from The First Tee

Topanga joined The First Tee's Vice President of Consumer Research, Jeff York, on Golf Channel's Morning Drive to talk about the impact The First Tee has on it's participants.

December 2018

Sam Saunders Short Game Clinic Presented by St. Johns Insurance

The First Tee of Central Florida concluded its year of programming with a clinic featuring PGA TOUR Professional Sam Saunders. Participants had the opportunity to watch Sam hit shots around the green while having the opportunity to practice the shots themselves, receiving instruction from Sam. The clinic was made possible through The First Tee of Central Florida Platinum Partner St. Johns Insurance

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