First Tee – Four Corners
Originally called The First Tee of San Juan County, First Tee – Four Corners became an official First Tee Chapter in December 2001. Through the protection of the San Juan College Foundation’s 501(c)3 status, First Tee – Four Corners was the first New Mexican chapter to gain chapter status and the second to begin programming. Since beginning its programming in 2005, First Tee – Four Corners has expanded its curriculum to include in-school programs, the National School Program (currently in 26 elementary schools), after-school programs, and summer programs for youth ages 6-18 years. Through the National School Program’s work in local schools and life-skills programming in summer and after-school settings, our programs are reaching over 12,500 children per year in the Four Corners community.
In 2010, responsibility for First Tee – Four Corners was transferred from San Juan College to the San Juan County Government. In addition, the San Juan County Life Skills Foundation was accepted by the IRS as a 501(c)3.
First Tee – Four Corners’ main chapter operates at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland, NM (owned by the San Juan County Government). In 2011 and 2012, programming locations opened through the City of Farmington at Pinon Hills Golf Course and Civitan Golf Course, at San Juan Country Club, and–as of 2021– through the City of Cortez (Colorado) at Conquistador Golf Course and at Hillcrest Golf Course in Durango, CO. The programs teach life-skills curriculum as the youth progress through the different levels (PLAYer, Par, Birdie, Eagle and Ace). This curriculum has been designed around First Tee’s Nine Core Values™and Nine Healthy Habits.TM
The staff at First Tee – Four Corners focus on empowering the youth of our community to learn and apply life skills which will aid them in their futures both on and off the golf course. The curriculum is taught in a fun and safe learning environment that introduces lifelong physical activity and encourages the participants to make better choices, set goals, and self-manage in all areas of their lives. In doing so, we strive to bring together youth from all areas of San Juan County in an environment inclusive of gender, race, or socio-economic background. With fee structures currently ranging from no cost to $75, our programs introduce the game of golf and its inherent values to all youth of ages 6 to 18.
Life Skills Program
The First Tee Life Skills Experience™ is what separates The First Tee from other junior golf and youth development programs. This curriculum combines golf skills and life skills, helping kids prepare for challenges on and off the golf course. In our academies and events, kids will learn about interpersonal communication, decision making, setting personal standards, goal setting and achievement, conflict resolution, physical and mental wellness, respecting others, appreciating diversity, and preparing for the future, as well as other lessons.
The First Tee Life Skills Experience™ is guided by our Nine Core Values: Confidence, Respect, Courtesy, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, Judgment, Honesty, Integrity, and Perseverance. Our focus on character development and personal growth creates an environment that fosters physical, emotional, and social health. The life skills and safe spaces provided by nationwide First Tee programs lead to improved mental health and better academic performance in high school and beyond.
Our chapter is open to all children and focuses on reaching underserved communities. We have programs tailored to reach girls, Native American youth, and those with special needs; and we will soon be adding a program for veterans. In addition, our fee structure ensures that our academies and events are accessible to those of all socioeconomic backgrounds. We strive to create an environment that is safe and inclusive for all.