Today, One In Three Young People Are Overweight or Obese

The First Tee of Central Florida is the home of The Nine Health Habits
The First Tee’s Nine Healthy Habits were created through a collaboration among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation, and Florida Hospital for Children to promote healthy, active lifestyles for young people. The health habits are a list of nine health and wellness topics presented as a part of The First Tee National School Program and Life Skills Experience, formatted for easy understanding and learning by elementary-age students and chapter participants.
The First Tee’s Nine Healthy Habits represent a comprehensive approach to youth wellness and are organized under three categories of physical, emotional and social health. Participants who progress within The First Tee Life Skills Experience will learn age and developmentally appropriate health and wellness behaviors at each level of the curriculum.

Wellness Activities within The First Tee Life Skills Experience

At the various levels of the Life Skills Experience curriculum there are health and wellness activities.

  • PLAYer level participants are asked to demonstrate good judgment as it relates to healthy behaviors by choosing to properly prepare their bodies through exercise, nutrition, and hydration.
  • Par level participants are asked to set their Personal Par for wellness and physical activity.
  • Birdie level participants are asked to use STAR (Stop, Think, Anticipate, and Respond) for wellness and physical activity.
  • Eagle level participants learn “Stay Well for Life” through specific life skills techniques which are delivered to address a Healthy Body, Mind, and Heart. Some of the lesson titles include: Building Physical Wellness; Choosing a Healthy Lifestyle; Eat Right, Drink Right; and Personal Wellness Goal Ladder.

Physical Activity within the Game of Golf

KidsWalkingCourseThe game of golf is a lifelong physical activity where players walk on average 5 to 6 miles per round. For a 150 pound person that carries their clubs, this equates to 350 calories burned per hour, with the average round consisting of 4 hours equates to 1,400 calories burned during the course of a round of golf. Practicing by hitting balls on the practice tee equates to 190 calories per hour for the same size person.

“The First Tee has always shared my passion for building awareness around the healthy aspects of golf,” said Annika. “The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits are a smart and systematic approach to reach children about health and fitness, and educate them on healthy life skills that they can integrate into their lives, even outside of golf.

Physical Choices
1. Energy: It’s important to make healthy choices, providing our body with useful energy.
2. Play: We must use our muscles and bones every day to stay fit.
3. Safety: Think ahead and make decisions to stay safe.

Social Choices
4. Vision: Everyone is born unique and can create his or her own future.
5. Mind: The mind is a powerful tool for health.
6. Family: One’s role as a family member is critical in maintaining wellness.

Emotional Choices
7. Friends: Healthy relationships are a part of individual well-being.
8. School: People never stop learning.
9. Community: We explore the health of the communities in which we live.


Incorporated physical activity (cardio, strength, flexibility, resistance) – PLAY – into core lessons
Warm Ups: The First Tee Golf Skills Curriculum, will have a physical activity as a warm up to every core lesson.

Stations: Physical fitness and wellness stations will be created and delivered within the core lesson activities’ rotation. Also, balance activities and movement skills can be incorporated into the transition time between stations.

On Course: Walking the course is congruent with The First Tee belief and strong recommendation that chapters should deliver the majority of programming hours on the holes of a golf course or a simulated course (75% at the PLAYer level and 50% at the Par, Birdie and Eagle levels).

Incorporate SAFETY and ENERGY during every class by:

  • Safety: encouraging the use hats or visors to protect their skin; remind participants to wear sunscreen and lip balm with SPF; utilizing tents and trees for shade when de-briefing class; and include regular water breaks for hydration.
  • Energy: providing participants with healthy choices such as fruits (apple, banana, orange, grapes), nuts and other whole foods at the start of class.