Why we do what we do

Today’s children are growing up in a challenging time. Budget cuts and increased focus on test scores have limited our schools’ capacity to focus on social and emotional learning in the classroom. Our research also tells us that one in three students will reach the age of 19 without having had a mentor of any kind. First Tee – Greater Wilmington is working to fill this gap by impacting our communities through our positive youth development programs.

Who we are

First Tee – Greater Wilmington (FTGW) is a 501c3 non-profit that was founded in 2016. We are part of the nationally prominent First Tee, founded in 1997. FTGW is a character-building organization spearheaded by a local Board of Directors comprised of civic, business and philanthropic leaders.

FTGW came into existence prior to the PGA Tour’s visit to Wilmington for the Wells Fargo Championship. We took this opportunity to construct a unique 3- hole, par 3 facility at the Wilmington Muni, which is dedicated to our youth for programming. The fundraising campaign during the Wells Fargo Championship did not reach the anticipated goals. Our desire is to establish a group of local Ambassador golfers who appreciate the unique life skills which golf develops and to provide the sustainability that is required.

First Tee – Greater Wilmington’s mission is to impact, influence and inspire the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and citizenship, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. We do this through our Life Skills Experience programs.

FTGW supports three types of programs for youth ages 5-17: The National School Program, After-School & Saturday Programming, and Outreach Programs. The First Tee Life Skills Experience (LSE) curriculum consists of our Nine Core Values, Nine Healthy Habits and our Code of Conduct. LSE helps young people build confidence, develop responsibility and respect, and appreciate the value of giving back to their community, all while learning the lifelong sport of golf.

We are impacting nearly 15,000 students in 15 New Hanover County public elementary schools and engaging 500 participants in our In-School, After-School and Saturday programs. Our programs will also engage another 600 youth in collaboration with other youth-serving organizations including: YMCA, YWCA, Brigade Boys & Girls Clubs, GLOW Academy, and the Boy Scouts.

The Caring Friends of First Tee – Greater Wilmington (a 501c3 non-profit) is a special sector of Membership, comprised of individuals committed to supporting the youth in our community through the mission of First Tee. The Caring Friends act as community ambassadors and assist our staff in identifying potential donors and volunteers. Members also readily contribute their special skills, talents and resources to promote and improve the interests of The First Tee here in Wilmington.

Our goal

Reach 25,000 youth within our 3-county service region (New Hanover, Duplin and Pender counties) by the end
of 2023. With your help, we will do this by expanding our programs in-school, after-school, and through our
outreach programs.

Code of Conduct

  • Respect for Myself
  • Respect for Others
  • Respect for my Surroundings
Life Skills Nine Core Values

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Sportsmanship
  • Courtesy
  • Confidence
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Judgement
  • Perseverance
Nine Healthy Habits

  • Energy
  • Play
  • Safety
  • Vision
  • Mind
  • Family
  • Friends
  • School
  • Community

First Tee participants

91%
are involved in community
service while in First Tee.
80%
of teens and alumni say First Tee has made
them better students.
72%
continue to serve their
community after high
school.

How you can support the youth in the Greater Wilmington area

In the same manner as the First Tee facility at the Muni is dedicated to our youth for programming, we need to create an Ambassador network within our community who are the bedrock of our sustainability. Join us and be a part of golfers who care about the game of golf and want to share with young people the positive life skills they have taken from the sport we all enjoy.

Join our $1,000 Ambassador Program and receive:

  • Bag tag recognition;
  • Annual function acknowledging support with participants through sharing of impact on their lives;
  • Quarterly updates from FTGW;
  • Quarterly adult/child events at our First Tee facility;
  • Pride in knowing that you are helping to shape the future of our youth.

Memberships are good for 1 year from the time you join so you will receive all annual benefits regardless of the time of year you join our group.

Pay with PayPal

In lieu of credit card payments, checks can be made out to:
First Tee – Greater Wilmington
P.O. Box 7184
Wilmington, NC 28406

For more information, please contact Brittany Zachrich, Interim Executive Director at (828) 638-3724.