About Us

We enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.

The First Tee- Shenandoah Valley is the premier youth development organization that uses a Life-Skills Education curriculum and the Nine Core Values to impact the lives of young people. We provide learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

Our program services the youth of the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Page, and Augusta Counties. Youth ages 5-17 are welcome to participate in our program.  In 2019, we had over 7,500 youth participants through our program, public schools, private schools, and other outreach. We hope to see these numbers increase through additional programs with Harrisonburg City and Rockingham County Schools, the 3 other Counties in our service area, and other youth organizations.  Currently, our National School Program is being taught in Thomas Harrison Middle School, Skyline Middle School in the City of Harrisonburg; McGaheysville, Elkton, John Wayland, and Plains Elementary Schools in Rockingham County; Craigsville, North River, Riverheads, and Wilson Elementary Schools in Augusta County; Bessie Weller, McSwain, and Ware Elementary Schools in the City of Staunton.  The NSP is led by the PE teachers as part of their yearly curriculum.

Our goal at the First Tee- Shenandoah Valley is to allow all children to grow character through the game of golf.  To ensure this, we want to assure you that no youth will be turned away due to financial restrictions.

To register a youth for our program, please contact us in The First Tee/Rotary Learning Center at (540) 437-4239. Please feel free to stop by the Learning Center and speak with us regarding the program.

Please keep in mind, space is limited for these sessions.

Juvenile Diversion Program
In 2010, Mr. Randy Combs, a long-time volunteer and former director of instruction with the First Tee, developed our Juvenile Diversion Program.  This program is only the second of its kind among the 195 chapters in The First Tee network.  Its design is to keep children out of the court system who have committed their first offense.  Participants in the program are referred to our facilities by juvenile probation officers from the 26th District Court.  This 9-week program is now led by our Executive Director, Mr. Tom Tattersall.  Through the 9 weeks, participants receive mentorship and guidance on goal setting, interpersonal skills, conflict resolution, and more.  In addition, participants in the program are introduced to the game of golf and The 9 Core Values of The First Tee.

The goal of this program is to help participants reflect on the choices they have made and supply them with skills they need to make better choices in the future.  “We are extremely proud of this unique program made possible through a strong partnership with the Juvenile Intake Officers within our 26th District Court Service Unit.”