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Building character, instilling life-enhancing values and promoting healthy choices through the game of golf,
The First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association is making positive impacts on the lives of youth with
every swing of the club.
T E X T BY E S T R E LL I TA S . S I B I L A
B y the age of 5, children are ready to pick up their first
golf club and learn the valuable lessons offered on
the links. The 18 holes are known to require a dash of
patience and a great deal of hand-eye coordination, and it’s
never too early to start developing these skills. Golf can teach
great life lessons, so the younger you learn, the better staged
you are for success.
The First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association [DAGA]
is internationally recognized as one of junior golf’s strongest
and most innovative supporters. At the helm is Charlie DeLucca,
Jr., a legend in the golf game who grew up in South Florida and
distinguished himself as an outstanding junior golfer leading his
Edison High golf team to the State Championship. After a stint in
the Navy, he returned to Miami and became the youngest golf pro
in the nation.
DeLucca’s golf legacy is unmatched. Known as the “Godfather
Of Junior Golf,” he founded not only DAGA but also the Doral
Publix Junior Championship, the premier junior golf tournament
where over 690 golfers from more than 45 countries participate in
the yearly tournament.
74 The South Florida PGA Hall Of Famer touts the impacts
The First Tee makes on its youth participants as his greatest
success. “Through the organization, kids from every walk of life
partake in a game that teaches the values for life,” says DeLucca.
“It’s a game that can be played for a lifetime.” Having experienced
success as a junior golfer, he knows exactly the type of training
young players need to develop a deep love and respect for the
game, and how to translate these skills to life’s daily challenges.
From birdies to triple bogeys, golf closely parallels real life as
players experience the highs and lows of the game. In addition
to learning fundamentals of the golf swing, scoring and game
lingo, participants enjoy benefits in other areas and report positive
results like feeling more confident in their social interactions with
peers, improving their meeting and greeting skills and increasing
their ability to appreciate diversity.
Currently, Junior Clinics are available for participants ages 5-18
at various certification levels including PLAYer, Par, Birdie & Eagle.
Each level reinforces The First Tee Code of Conduct and Nine Core
Values providing precious skills for a lifetime of swinging success;