Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: April 2018


Starting in the program

All players who are new to The First Tee of Contra Costa begin in one of three levels based on their age.

TARGET is the starting point for juniors between 5 and 6 years old.
Next is the PLAYer level, which is subdivided into PLAYer 1 and PLAYer 2.
PLAYer 1 is for participants 7-8 years old, and/or new to The First Tee.
PLAYer 2 is for participants 9 years and older, and/or new to The First Tee (Ages 13 and up can start in Teen only classes at select locations).

All juniors begin the program at the PLAYer level, and progress to subsequent levels by completing different requirements that measure their golf skill and understanding of the curriculum delivered at each level.

My participant is an advanced player, can he/she be skip PLAYer and be placed in a higher level class?

This would not be possible. Per Home Office standards, all juniors begin at the PLAYer level. This is to expose them to the curriculum in PLAYer, which covers The First Tee Nine Core Values and Healthy Habits and serves as a foundation for subsequent levels. Juniors starting at the PLAYer 2 level only need to join one session in PLAYer and complete the certification process before becoming eligible to move to Par. It is not possible nor recommended to skip levels, The First Tee Program is not a race to the finish!

Progressing through the program

Participants will move through these first three levels based on age alone. To enter into the Par level and above, participants will need to certify for the previous level. For example, a participant must be “PLAYer 2 certified” before enrolling into the Par level. See the attached flow chart for more details and certification requirements.

How long does it take to move from one level to the next?

The answer is dependent on the individual. Certification is the outcome of a fun learning process that occurs through time and may take up to two years to complete. Although session minimums are listed, repeating sessions is common and encouraged, especially for younger participants. Older players may move through the levels more quickly while it may take multiple sessions for younger participants. Participants who play and practice regularly may move through the levels more quickly than players who do not.

How do participants become “certified”?

The biggest change to our program in 2017 is this; the end of each session will offer an assessment day for PLAYer 2, Par, Birdie, and Eagle participants held at Diablo Creek Golf Course. Participants must attend an assessment day in order to certify and progress to the next level. If a participant meets the certification criteria, they are eligible to move to the next level.  See attached for a list of certification requirements for each level.

Are there age requirements for progressing through levels?

Minimum age requirement for PLAYer is 7 and for Ace is 14. All levels in between have recommended ages. If all other certification requirements are met, a player may move to the next level as early as one year younger than the recommended age. However, due to the age specific content of life skill curriculum, the recommended age is encouraged. (Recommended ages are as follows: Par 9, Birdie 11, Eagle 13)

Why did the chapter move to centralized assessment days at Diablo Creek?

The chapter is moving to this assessment process in an effort to better track all of our participants progress through the program. Each participant will receive a scorecard at the end of the assessment day with results of each activity. This will allow participants and parents to see their strengths and areas of improvement as well as detailed results of their assessment. See a sample of the scorecard.

What is the schedule for this new assessment day?

Weekday participants can attend their regularly scheduled day and time at Diablo Creek following 8 weeks of classes. Saturday participants will attend the assessment day at Diablo Creek on Saturday following 8 weeks of classes, Starting with the Summer 2017 Session, you must sign up for an Assessment Day, this will allow us to have appropriate class sizes and be prepared for different skill levels.

If my participant does not meet the certification requirements, can he/she reassess to try to certify again?

Participants may attempt to certify up to two times per session if they wish. The two weeks following the 8-week class sessions will be the designated assessment period. However, they are only required to attend one day of assessments during that two-week period.

What if my participant does not certify?

The participant will continue in the same level. Multiple exposures to each level are not only encouraged but required for most levels. Repeating a level is not a punishment but the intended way the program was designed. If you think your player is ready to move to the next level but just had an off day you may request a re-assessment.

I’m not sure what level my participant is in, how do I sign them up?

If you are a returning participant, the chapter office has records of the last class level you attended and for what level you were last certified. Please contact the chapter office and we will let you know what level to sign up for next.

What if my participant meets some but not all of the requirements?

The chapter office will track assessment results and the participants are encouraged to do so as well. Participants will go through the entire assessment process each session to see their progress, but if they already certified in one category in previous assessments, they will not lose the credit for that in the future. For example, if your participant meets the criteria for the putting assessment for PLAYer but does not complete the written assessments with a passing score, they will attempt the entire assessment next session, including the putting assessment. Regardless of their score the second time, they have already passed the putting assessment for that level.

However, this resets each level and all the requirements will need to be met for the next level. For instance, if a PLAYer level participant has a great putting day and meets the requirement for the Par level during their PLAYer assessment, they will meet the PLAYer level that session and will need to do it again for their Par assessment.

How long does my participant have to complete all the requirements for each level?

The participant has as long as it takes him/her to complete all the requirements. For example, the Eagle level participants must complete ten 18-hole rounds in order to certify. This does not need to happen all in one session but they need to complete those rounds and meet the target score before they certify. Typically expect 1-2 years for each level. The lower levels my take less time and the higher levels typically take longer.


Do you have any additional questions? Let us know! firstteecontracosta@gmail.com