What is Certification?

Certification is a multi-part process that all students go through to demonstrate they are ready to move to the program’s next level.

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE MOVING ON – The First Tee program is not a race! It is intentionally designed for students to have multiple exposures at each level. Many students will not be old enough to advance after just one season…THIS IS NORMAL!!! A lot of these students will still take part in certification activities. Practicing certification is a great opportunity to experience the process even though their results will not count towards their future progression.


Students must meet ALL the following criteria before advancing to the next level.

  • Minimum Age/Hours Required – Each student must meet the minimum age recommendation and/or the hours required. Each PLAYer/PAR session is approximately 10 hours. Each BIRDIE/EAGLE session is approximately 12 hours. Students have until the end of the second week of a new season (spring or fall) to reach this age.
    • PLAYer – Required Age 7. Hours Required: 27
    • Par – Recommended Age 9. Hours Required: 36
    • Birdie – Recommended Age 11. Hours Required: 48
    • Eagle – Recommended Age 13. Hours Required: 60
    • ACE – Required Age 15.
  • Written Assessment – Each student must pass a written test. The written test will focus on information covered in class and in their Yardage Books. This includes: core values, life skills, golf etiquette and golf rules. Tests require a score of 80% or better to be considered passing. Should a child not reach a passing score on the first attempt, a second opportunity will be made available.
  • Yardage Books – Each student should complete as much material in their yardage book as their class covers. Questions should be answered thoroughly and thoughtfully. Yardage books will be checked and then given back for future review/reference.
  • Golf Skills Demonstration – Each student will be required to demonstrate minimum levels of proficiency in regards to their golf abilities (putting, chipping and full swing).
  • Coach Recommendation – Each student must receive a recommendation from their current level coach before advancing. If a student’s coach does not feel they are “ready” to advance, they will not be allowed to move on. Chapter staff will communicate directly with coaches to determine which students are able to advance.
  • Advancement – Once a participant has met all of the above criteria they will be moved up to the next level. The participant will attend her/his new class at the beginning of the next season.