Golf program expands lessons into local elementary schools

The First Tee of the Coachella Valley will now bring its youth golf program into area schools thanks to a grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The organization, which teaches life lessons through the game of golf, received a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant.

“This grant will allow us to bring our comprehensive golf and core values program into five valley schools. It’s the start to implementing The First Tee National School Program in the Coachella Valley,” said Tim Skogen, PGA, Executive Director of The First Tee of the Coachella Valley. “The First Tee is about making better people, not just better golfers.”

The First Tee is a national organization with chapters in about 1,200 communities, which seeks to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. The local chapter, The First Tee of the Coachella Valley has offered golf lessons to kids and teens regardless of previous experience and background since 2008.

Participants, ages 4-17, are introduced to nine core values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment, which are incorporated into the program. Players learn values such as honesty and responsibility by calling penalties on themselves and reporting their own score.

“The First Tee has been positively impacting youth and their families at its clubhouse facility, and now it can make an even greater impact by going directly into the schools,” said Christopher McGuire, Vice President of Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

More than 6,000 local youth participate annually through the year round and after-school programs and through collaboration with local charities. Three Indio schools have already implemented The First Tee National School Program into this year’s curriculum, and there are plans to implement in more schools during the 2017-2018 school year.

“It’s wonderful we can to extend The First Tee experience as a potentially life-changing opportunity to more young people in the community,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.

Along with the grant, The First Tee of the Coachella Valley was featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on the website throughout the month of April. The First Tee’s clubhouse is located at, 74-945 Sheryl Avenue in Palm Desert. For more information and a calendar of events, visit