About Us

We enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.

Our Mission Statement

To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Our Vision

The First Tee – Lakeland opened May 1, 2005! With the help of our friends, local businesses, foundations and the golfing community, we transformed the once popular local icon “The Publix Par 3 Golf Course” into the YMCA Par 3 golf facility which is a branch of the YMCA of West Central Florida Association.

Course architect Steve Smyers and his team remodeled the existing 18-hole course into a new 9-hole course with a lighted driving range and practice greens. The new layout proudly became home to the First Tee – Lakeland. We would like to thank our friends and local businesses for their continued support.

The YMCA Par 3 First Tee – Lakeland facility is a place where youth can participate in golf classes, do homework after school, and attend holiday camps. By working with schools and other agencies dedicated to helping youth, the First Tee program uses the game of golf to provide young people with the chance to develop life-enhancing values like confidence, perseverance and judgment. The First Tee teaches a series of life skills (such as goal setting, how to meet new people, and staying healthy) in all of its programs. The First Tee shows children that golf is more than a game – it’s an opportunity to become the very best they can be.