Children learn life skills through golf – Orange County Register

What is the best way to teach their children life skills? Maybe through the game of golf.

This is exactly the philosophy of First Tee Orange County. The nonprofit’s coaches teach kids ages 4-14+ the basics of golf while educating them on nine core values: honesty, integrity, responsibility, respect, courtesy, sportsmanship, judgment, perseverance and trust.

With support from local golf courses, First Tee Orange County runs lessons once a week for a nine-week session. Each week, the lesson combines a new golf foundation with an embedded core value.

  • Brooklyn Owen, 8, watches eagerly as his ball rolls into the target on the green during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Grace Picha, 8, reacts after scoring a point by...

    Grace Picha, 8, reacts after scoring a point by putting the ball into a Y-shaped target on the green during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Nathaniel Yoon, 7, left, gets advice from Coach Ron on...

    Nathaniel Yoon, 7, left, receives advice from Coach Ron on a good swing during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange Departmental Register/SCNG)

  • In a post-lesson recap, Grace Picha, 8, left, responds to...

    In a recap after the lesson, Grace Picha, 8, left, answers First Tee coach Sami Freitas, right, how she was able to show responsibility and play by the rules during a lesson golf and core values ​​at San Juan Hills Golf Course. in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • James Owen, 7, right, keeps an eye on the ball...

    James Owen, 7, right, keeps an eye on the ball during his backswing on the driving range during a first tee lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. ( Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Eight-year-old Grace Picha reflects on her teammate as she...

    Grace Picha, 8, looks back at her teammate as she prepares to hit the golf ball on the driving range during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • First Tee coach Sami Freitas, right, demonstrates how to steal...

    First Tee coach Sami Freitas, right, demonstrates how to chip a golf ball on the green during a First Tee golf and core values ​​lesson at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday 5 July 2022. Watching are First Tee attendees , left to right, Vincent Adamo, 8, Grace Picha, 8, Nathaniel Yoon, 7, Justin Duke, 9, Brooklyn Owen, 8, Kellan Purvis, 9, and James Owen , 7. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kellan Purvis, 9, reaches out to, as he...

    Kellan Purvis, 9, reaches out to use, as he described, ‘The Force’ to guide his ball to the target on the green during a first lesson in golf and core values ​​on the golf course at San Juan Hills in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • First Tee participants carry their golf bags to the driving...

    First Tee participants carry their golf bags to the driving range during a golf and core values ​​lesson at First Tee Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG )

  • First Tee coach Sami Freitas, top, explains the rules of...

    First Tee coach Sami Freitas, top, explains the rules of the driving range during a First Tee golf and core values ​​lesson at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. ( Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Seven-year-old Nathaniel Yoon carries his golf bag to the green...

    Nathaniel Yoon, 7, carries his golf bag to the green during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG )

  • James Owen, 7, reacts after missing the target during a chipping...

    7-year-old James Owen reacts after missing the target during chipping practice during a first golf and core values ​​lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. ( Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Justin Duke, 9, hits his ball on the green towards...

    Justin Duke, 9, hits his ball onto the green towards the target during a golf and core values ​​lesson during a first tee program at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Justin Duke, 9, reacts after missing the target during a chipping...

    Justin Duke, 9, reacts after missing the target during chipping practice during a First Tee program at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • First Tee coach Sami Freitas, left, reacts after the putt...

    First Tee coach Sami Freitas, left, reacts after the putt of 9-year-old Kellan Purvis, right, narrowly missed entering the target during a First Tee golf and core values ​​lesson at San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Vincent Adamo, 8, left, gets a high-five from First Tee...

    Vincent Adamo, 8, left, gets a high-five from First Tee coach Sami Freitas during a First Tee golf and core values ​​lesson at the San Juan Hills Golf Course in San Juan Capistrano on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

“We teach life skills through the game of golf. It’s not something you just use on the golf course, but something you use in life,” said Wendy Cullen, executive director of First Tee Orange County.

On a recent sunny afternoon, seven boys and girls, ages 7 to 9, gathered at the San Juan Hills Golf Course under the guidance of First Tee Coach Sami Freitas and volunteer coach Ron takai.

At the start of the lesson, participants sat in a circle to review with their coaches what they had learned the previous week and discuss the core values ​​and skills to lead that day. The new lesson was one of accountability, playing by the rules while learning to swing with an emphasis on target awareness and a commitment to good judgment.

After a series of warm-up exercises, the children grabbed their golf bags and headed to the driving range where they were divided into teams and competed for the highest score. Then they made their way to the green as they struggled to hit the ball with just enough force to place them in a giant Y shape on the green.

At the end of the lesson, the children again sat in a circle. Freitas asked them how they use Core Values ​​to work with their teammates and how they would use these life skills outside of First Tee with their friends, at home and at school.

One of the most expressive participants, Grace Picha, 8, summed up the day’s lesson in one word: “Great!

For more information on the program, visit https://firstteeorangecounty.org.

About Betty Nelson

Check Also

Blind athletes compete at Penn State Behrend

ERIE, Pa. — The game was delayed when one of the boys rolled his eyes …