First Tee – Pittsburgh’s (FTP) mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Character is learned, cultivated and shaped by our experiences. 

We build experiences that build character. As a youth development organization, we believe experiences are our greatest teacher and that they should be both fun and meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail and better equipped for whatever comes their way. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.

Today's Reality:

  • Limited focus on social and emotional learning in the classroom 
  • 11.3 million youth are alone or unsupervised between 3-6PM (critical time) 
  • Concerns about children getting injured, the quality or behavior of coaches, and an emphasis on winning over having fun
  • 16 million youth will reach age 19 without having a mentor of any kind 
  • 1 in 5 high school students drop out

2023 First Tee - Pittsburgh’s Impact:

  • 1,678 unique kids participated in programs at FTP
  • 13 program partners from throughout Western PA
  • 33% Female participants
  • 27% Diverse participants
  • 35% Retention Rate

Arnold Palmer Learning Center

Our Programs
We see golf as a metaphor for life. It’s not the score that counts, but what you learn along the way. Like in life, golf requires goal setting, working with others and digging deep when things get tough. Golf is a perfect practice ground for learning skills that go far beyond the fairways. 

Our programs happen daily at approximately 150 chapters across the world. The Pittsburgh chapter is based in the Arnold Palmer Learning Center at The Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park. The opening of the Arnold Palmer Learning Center in 2021, a 6 million dollar project, was a transformational programmatic moment for FTP participants, because it allows for year-round programming and a seamless incorporation of our STEM curriculum.

We also operate at numerous program locations in the Greater Pittsburgh area:

CITY – The Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park
WEST – First Tee Golf Course at Pleasant Ridge in Stowe Township
MON VALLEY – Victory Hills in Elizabeth, PA
EAST – 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills
NORTH – North Park Golf Course
NORTH – Mars-Bethel Golf Course
SOUTH – South Park Golf Course
BUTLER – All About Golf in Butler, PA
BEAVER VALLEY – Black Hawk Golf Course in Beaver Falls

Participants ages 5 – 18 progress through the program over time, deepening their understanding of life skills and golf development. The integrated approach helps kids and teens build confidence and resilience for when they are on the course, at home and in school. Every participant has the opportunity to:

Learn the game of golf and how it relates to life

Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills on and off the golf course

Set goals and put strategies in place to make them a reality

Learn conflict resolution, resilience and how to plan for the future

At First Tee — Pittsburgh, no child or group is ever turned away for inability to pay. In addition, all equipment is provided, free of charge. Your contribution helps economically disadvantaged children participate in our golf and life skill clinics. 

Your donation is valuable

Recent Donors

Palmer Foundation

Celebrate the good of the game today! Umbrella Day is hosted by the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation. The Palmer Foundation's vision is to support a Life Well Played for future generations.

Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation
9000 Bay Hill Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819-4880