July 16, 2007

Golf and Man-Making?

In the Man-Making book, one of many approaches for influencing boys that I suggest to men is to take something you're interested in and find a way to do it that involves young males. For example, I like golf. I've had a lot of fun with young dudes at mini-golf, on the driving range, and even on the occasional par 3 course. But when it comes to character education and golf, I was very impressed when I heard about the work of the First Tee Program.

First Tee was started in 1997 by the World Golf Foundation. They have the support of countless corporate sponsors AND the PGA and the LPGA, whose golf pros are directly involved in the program. Today they have 205 chapters and over 1.5 million kids involved.

In their life skills education training, along the way to learning how to play golf, they focus on nine pretty impressive core values:

1. Honesty - the quality or state of being truthful; not deceptive

2. Integrity - strict adherence to a standard of value or conduct. Personal honesty and independence.

3. Sportsmanship - observing the rules of play and winning or losing with grace.

4. Respect - to feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.

5. Confidence - reliance or trust. A feeling of self-assurance.

6. Responsibility - accounting for one’s actions. Dependable

7. Perseverance - to persist in an idea, purpose or task despite obstacles.

8. Courtesy - considerate behavior toward others. A polite remark or gesture.

9. Judgment - the ability to make a decision or form an opinion. A decision reached after consideration.

This organization is in 38 states and 4 countries. They focus on all kids 8-18, with about half of the program participants being minorities. If you golf and are even a little interested in man-making, you might want to check out this organization at: thefirsttee.org

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