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.

First Tee – Syracuse began in 2007 as a pilot program. We received our non-profit status and First Tee license in 2008. The program has grown substantially since with over 800 participants this summer.

The primary program of First Tee is the certification program that enables participants to advance from one level of demonstrated competence in understanding, and practicing the life skills and golfing skills to higher levels. Participants advance from the beginning Player Level, to the Par Level, to the Birdie Level, to the highest Eagle Level, and in the most advanced cases, to the Ace Level. If the young participant begins in the program at age seven and advances in normal steps, they are certified to advance after two years of work at each Level. All participants, regardless of the age or previous golf experience when they enter the program, begin at the Player Level.

Older participants are grouped with similarly aged youngsters, and may advance more rapidly from Player to Par, and Par to Birdie Levels, dependent on how intensely they apply themselves to acquiring and demonstrating the golfing skills and mastery of the core values and healthy habits.

First Tee – Syracuse also promotes the School Program in our area. This program introduces golf and the core values through physical education classes in elementary and middle schools. That program is now provided in several city schools, a few suburban schools, and efforts are being made to expand the number of schools in which this program is regularly offered.

Since 2016, First Tee – Syracuse operates its own facility, First Tee – Syracuse Golf Complex at Butternut Creek. During the summer sessions, we also provides instruction at Drumlins Golf Club and Turning Stone Resort.

Young people between the ages of 7 and 17 are invited to participate. Sibling and military discounts are available as well as financial aid.

For more information, contact Program Director Daria DeBarber Webber at (315) 952-1287 or [email protected].