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Monday, February 28, 2011

First Tee Program Makes Changes To Teaching Framework

San Antonio, Texas (Feb. 17, 2011) – Today, The First Tee, a youth development organization that provides character education through golf, officially launched its five-year strategic plan at its Network Meeting. World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam attended today’s meeting and was introduced as the spokesperson for The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, a new framework for curriculum that will be included in The First Tee programs that focuses on promoting health and wellness through golf.

Developed in partnership with the ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children, The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits are platforms categorized into nine pillars that children can easily remember and understand.  They include energy, play, safety, vision, mind, family, friends, school and community.

“The First Tee has always shared my passion for building awareness around the healthy aspects of golf,” said Annika. “The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits are a smart and systematic approach to reach children about health and fitness, and educate them on healthy life skills that they can integrate into their lives, even outside of golf.”

In addition to the Nine Healthy Habits, The First Tee’s plan also includes goals pertaining to increasing youth involvement.  Specifically, by 2015 The First Tee hopes to increase its total reach to more than eight million young people, the number of chapter program locations from 750 to 1,500, the number of elementary schools offering The First Tee National School program from 4,000 to 8,000 and the number of youth-serving program locations that offer The First Tee programs to 500. The organization will also focus on increasing the progression of teenagers through its programs and growing the number of female and ethnic diverse participants. To date, The First Tee has reached more than 4.7 million young people.

“Our plans for the next five years will further The First Tee’s relevance as an established organization that impacts today’s youth,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “We look forward to expanding our footprint and engaging more adults—as donors, volunteers, coaches and teachers—to help reach our objectives over the coming years.”

More than 600 chapter executive directors, program directors, coaches and volunteer board members are in attendance at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio for The First Tee’s biennial Network Meeting. Today through Saturday, Feb. 19, the group will learn details about the next five-year strategic plan and have the opportunity to learn with and from each other in classes and general sessions.

For more about The First Tee, visit

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