Getting kids into the swing of golf |

Getting kids into the swing of golf

Kelly Hagenah
Special to the Daily The First Tee program's six-week course, which begins Tuesday, wil take place at golf courses in Eagle and Eagle-Vail.

EAGLE – Legend has it, that the first time Tiger Woods picked up a golf club, he was a mere 9 months old. Allegedly, his father knew right away that Tiger would be a great golfer. This summer, it could happen to your child … just maybe not at such a young age.The First Tee Golf Program for kids is coming to Eagle County this summer, beginning Tuesday. The program will be held at both Eagle Ranch Golf Course in Eagle and at Willow Creek in Eagle-Vail. Organizers say The First Tee is a national initiative that aims to build golf and lifestyle skills in children.

Dave Kolquist, who was The First Tee of Denver Director, has joined forces with the Western Eagle County Mountain Recreation District and the Youth Foundation to bring The First Tee to the kids of Eagle County.Kolquist said he was looking for an opportunity to move to the mountain, when the Youth Foundation contacted him. “We had a lot of success in Denver, and so some of the ideas we implemented down there, we will implement up here,” Kolquist said. Kolquist said he thought that Eagle County was a great place to bring the First Tee program. “The First Tee fits very much the mold and mission of the Youth Foundation. It’s another avenue by which we can reach out and help kids.”The First Tee is an all day program that meets once a week for six weeks. And it only costs $30. The days consist of a combination of activities, including golf, science and art.

The life skills revolve around The First Tee’s nine core values – honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment, Kolquist said.The best thing about First Tee, according to Kolquist, is the fact that kids have a chance to develop as whole individuals. The primary goal is always to have fun. “It is just a really neat program,” Kolquist said. “It can lead to great opportunities.”While First Tee has paired with The Youth Foundation, which helps kids in need, Kolquist said that The First Tee philosophy is that there are many different types of need in a child, and it is not always financial.

“There is a lot of nurturing going on in this program,” said Kolquist.Over 300 kids have already signed up for the First Tee Program in Eagle County. Registration has closed; but Kolquist said that they want to accommodate as many kids as possible. For more information, call Kolquist at the Youth Foundation at 926-8905. Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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