Golf, Life Skills Program for Youngsters Returns to Detroit


The Greater Detroit chapter of The First Tee, a nonprofit youth development organization that teaches the game of golf to young people, will return to Detroit after a five-year hiatus. The program will offer golf classes throughout the summer.

“We trust The First Tee of Detroit will be an important part of the rebirth happening in Detroit, and will have a positive impact on young people in the city for many years to come,” says Joe Louis Barrow Jr., CEO of The First Tee, and the son of Detroit boxing legend Joe Louis.

The organization will offer weekly classes at the Palmer Park Golf Course from June 16 through Aug. 18. Classes include an introduction to golf for youngsters aged 5 and 6, and more advanced classes for those aged seven to 17. The latter curriculum focuses on golf skills, etiquette and rules, and the core values of the game. The entire program cost $30 per student, and includes nine class sessions.

The nonprofit is partnering with more than 20 Detroit Public Schools and several charter schools to bring its curriculum into gym classes.

“The First Tee has helped to re-introduce golf into our physical education classes with their new cutting edge curriculum,” says Ed Tomlin, director of elementary/middle school athletics for Detroit Public Schools. “We look forward to our students participating in the golf programs this summer.”

The Greater Detroit chapter of The First Tee was one of the original chapters when Tiger Woods, Ford Motor Co., Penske Corp., Farbman Group, and others launched the program in 1997. While the program ended in 2011, today local business leaders and residents raised $250,000 to bring the organization back to Detroit.

Participating organizations include DTE Energy Foundation, Huntington Bank, PwC, Quicken Loans, Penske Foundation, Carl’s Golfland, The Skillman Foundation, MAC Valves, Inductoheat, and Brown & Brown of Detroit. Roger Penske, chairman and CEO of Penske Corp. in Bloomfield Township, is a National Trustee of The First Tee.

For program information in Detroit, click here.