One of the tougher sports for kids to take interest in is the game of golf. While the game is a challenge to learn, there is more that can be taken from it that can be beneficial to their way of life.

There are several First Tee junior programs nationwide. This year First Tee of West Michigan, based out of Grand Rapids, has expanded to their fourth location in Kalamazoo. The First Tee of West Michigan has partnered with the Kalamazoo Junior Golf Association to provide classes this spring at the three course that are a part of the Kalamazoo Municipal Golf Association - Eastern Hills Golf Course, Red Arrow Golf Course and Milham Park Golf Club.

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The classes for this spring filled rather quick, as they were booked full by April 6th. The one-night-a-week classes for six weeks will teach players from seven-to-17 years of age the basic skills of golf while teaching core values including honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and responsibility. The sessions cost $70 but those that are eligible for free or reduced lunch while in school, or if a family has been financially impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students may be eligible for the scholarship rate of five dollars.

While the classes are filled for the spring, more classes are expected to be announced for the summer. First Tee executive director Tyler Smies tells us that those sessions are expected to be announced in early May. The biggest need for First Tee for every session is the help of volunteer mentors. Mentors will have the opportunity to teach the great game of golf and tie it in with life values that can change a child's life through the sport. First Tee also does a fantastic job of making sure mentors are trained and can safely teach students. Be sure to become a volunteer mentor this year.

The First Tee of West Michigan is celebrating their tenth year of establishment, impacting the lives of the region's young people by providing educational programs that build character and instilling life-enhanced values through the game of golf. Within the last two years, over 1800 young people in Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon.

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