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First Tee Alternative: "Can Golf Be Saved By Capitalism?"

Larry Olmsted looks at an alternative to the First Tee called the TGA that works on a franchise model and has already been picked up by the USTA to create a version for tennis.

“Having worked for Rick Smith at Treetops [a perennial candidate for one of the best teachers in the world and his home resort in Michigan] and having been a teaching pro, I’ve seen every ‘growing the game’ initiative in the past 20 years, and none of them have worked. This one immediately caught my eye because it makes so much sense,” said former PGA professional Kevin Frisch, now a spokesman for the program he describes, TGA Premier Junior Golf, a fast growing franchise.

The TGA stands for Teach, Grow, Achieve, the grow part being the game of golf. The concept was launched by Joshua Jacobs in 2003, when he had the bright idea to cross the declining notion of teaching golf to kids with the fast growing and red hot trend of after school enrichment programs. These have been booming across the country as a way to productively fill time between the end of the school day and the end of the parents’ work day, while teaching the kids something beyond the classroom. To date, the main areas of focus have been academic or cultural, such as performing arts. So why not golf?

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Reader Comments (9)

If it was launched 10 years ago and we've never heard of it, how great can it be? On the other hand, I haven't heard a whisper about the First Tee lately, so maybe this is the answer.
02.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor
You have not heard about TGA the past 10 years because, unlike the First Tee, TGA was launched at the grass roots level to grow the game of golf without a 250 million dollar PR campaign and backing by the games governing bodies. Change is upon us and if the industry and its associations are serious about growing the game in the future, they need to recognize other proven and successful models like TGA.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGolfrisch
East Lake - at the adjoining Charlie Yates course - has such an after school program. It is combined with academic tutorials and seems to be working well. The kids love it. It deserves more publicity.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenterotey
Anybody know Joe Louis Barrow's salary at First Tee? That should tell you a lot.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered Commentergino
The problem w/ Jr. Golf is they have to play sober. Hard to imagine.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Ron: Indubitably!
02.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCooper's Best
interesting concept, hope it works. anything other than the nonsensical first tee "value based" golf growth programs that have completely failed for going on 16 years
02.6.2013 | Unregistered Commenterill take a drop
Why this move away from The First Tee programming by so PGA pros?

Everybody is after the junior golfer, but no one does Core Values like The First Tee.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
First Tee is ripe for a scandal of the sort that rocked the Susan B. Komen group. Huge waste of money.
02.7.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin

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