Meet Our program director!

Ryan Guthridge currently serves as our Program Director, or as we like to call our “Head” Coach.  Ryan has been involved with The First Tee since 2011, beginning as a volunteer at the Greater Seattle chapter and then later working with youth at the Greater Austin chapter before moving to Omaha in 2015.  Ryan earned a Bachelor degree from the University of North Dakota and a Master degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.  He is passionate about delivering educational programming to junior golfers and considers it a privilege to work with all of the participating youth!


Youth attending Nelson Mandela Elementary School completednelsonmandela2016 its inaugural summer program at Miller Park in 2016. The Steve Hogan Golf Course Learning Center will be utilized again in 2017 for summer programming sessions with Nelson Mandela Elementary, an elementary school built on a year-round model.

Parent’s Guide to The First Tee!

To learn more about the Golf and Life Skills Curriculum, click here.


Program Progression

Upon registering in The First Tee Program, students begin working toward successfully completing The First Tee Golf and Life Skills Curriculum. The First Tee Curriculum is nationally acclaimed and based on a progressive model that takes participants through 5 certification levels: PLAYer, PAR, BIRDIE, EAGLE, and ACE. The length of time needed to advance from one level to the next will vary from student to student. It is not a race, but a journey, ensuring that each student receives the necessary tools to have a fun and rewarding life on and off the golf course. Participants are required to attend courses and successfully complete all of the golf and life skill requirements within each level. Before graduating to the next level of the program, they must also meet minimum age requirements.

Program Levels

Target: (Ages 5 & 6) – An exciting introduction to The First Tee Experience. Young people will be introduced to golf in a safe environment that promotes curiosity about the game while integrating essential links between golf and life skills seamlessly.

PLAYer: (required minimum age 7) – Introduces playing the game of golf with special emphasis on learning golf and The First Tee Code of Conduct, appreciating the rules and etiquette of the game and developing a game plan for golf and life.

Par: (required minimum age 9) – Focuses on interpersonal communications and self-management skills.

Birdie: (recommended minimum age 11) – Emphasizes goal setting.

Eagle: (recommended minimum age 13) – Emphasizes resilience skills, conflict resolution and planning for the future.

Ace: (required minimum age 14 or entering 9th grade) – Once a young person has progressed through all program levels, he/she can become Ace-certified, focusing on setting goals for golf, career education and giving back to the community.