First Tee Greater Detroit teaches local kids golf & leadership skills while growing the game

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 07:00:02-04

(WXYZ) — The game of golf can open the doors of opportunity for people playing at any level, and with the Rocket Mortgage Classic in town, we're spotlighting an organization that is looking to grow the game and introduce it to kids in metro Detroit.

First Tee, a national organization, has a chapter right here in metro Detroit. The group, First Tee Greater Detroit, is teaching kids not only the game of golf but quality leadership skills both on and off the course.

Golf can be a frustrating game, but it can also be a fun one with driving, chipping and putting.

Damon Primus is just 12 years old. Last year, his mother came home one day with a set of golf clubs and signed him up for a program with First Tee Greater Detroit.

"I was kind of freaked out because I didn't know what to do because I never played golf before at that point," Damon said. "But it was fun the day that we went and the day that I got there it was very fun."

Since then, Damon has been hooked and loves getting out to a course any chance he gets. He's also taken away some very important life skills.

"We talk about responsibility, like how you should do stuff without other people asking, forgiveness, and basically all the stuff that normal kids should have in their life to make them a responsible grown-up," Damon said.

First Tee teaches golf fundamentals and what the organization calls the nine core values: Confidence, responsibility, judgment, respect, sportsmanship, courtesy, honesty, integrity and perseverance.

Todd Krieger is the interim CEO of First Tee Greater Detroit. The chapter is one of 150 throughout the country that has impacted over 2.2 million kids and teens over the 25 years they've been around.

Krieger said First Tee teaches more than the game of golf, and has a goal of helping as many kids as possible.

"Through our program, kids are learning how to hold a golf club, how to putt, how to swing a driver, so they're learning how to play the game of golf and how to use clubs appropriately," he said. "But as I said, it's about golf but it's also about life skills.

"Golf is a unique game. It teaches us so much about ourselves, about our core values and what we are finding is that more and more families and kids are just really interested in being part of the program," he added.

In the next couple of years, Damon hopes to be a caddy at a local golf course, but right now, his mission is to get his friends to play the game he has a passion for.