The First Tee of Northern Nevada safely getting back to the swing of things

Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:47 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The First Tee of Northern Nevada is back in full swing. The local non-profit, geared at teaching life skills and core values to the area’s youth through the game of golf, had to cancel its Spring season due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been cooped up so long,” said Chris Dewar, executive director for the First Tee of Northern Nevada. “It’s just great to be outside and doing something with the kids.”

To comply with state regulations, the First Tee downsized its classes to better promote social distancing. No equipment is being shared and all staff members wear masks throughout the lesson.

“I think it was a great outlet for kids to be able to enroll and get going in something outdoors,” said Dewar. “I think parents feel a little safer having them do something outside rather than inside.”

The First Tee interweaves life lessons into its golf training, a structured learning environment which is even more significant now after kids lost almost three months of school amid COVID-19.

“Golf is kind of our carrot to get kids involved in First Tee, but our meat and potatoes is really our life skills and core values,” said Dewar. “Integrity, sportsmanship, perseverance, doing the right thing.”

“You kind of have to work to find that kind of structure for kids now without the school system being able to provide it,” said Michael Daines, whose grandson is enrolled in The First Tee.

Dewar says almost all families who were signed up for the canceled Spring season carried it over to the Summer. She’s encouraging those interested in their Fall program, starting in August, to sign up at

“I think this is a very safe environment for kids to come to,” said Dewar. “My hope is we just keep reaching more and more kids.”

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