the first tee

A ‘Link’ to Kids

The First Tee of the Coachella Valley preps for 7th Annual Invitational Golf Tournament, chance to showcase how it reaches 7,000 kids across the valley.

Judd Spicer Golf

the first tee
The First Tee of the Coachella Valley reaches 7,000 valley kids a year.

A national nonprofit with chapters across the country, the programs of The First Tee not only introduce kids to the tenets of the game, but also encircle golf lessons around healthy lifestyles and the program’s “Nine Core Values,” which include honesty, courtesy, respect and perseverance.

To buoy the Coachella Valley chapter, the 7th annual First Tee of the Coachella Valley Golf Invitational tees off April 21 at Desert Island Golf and Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

“It’s one of our primary fundraisers and it’s critical for us to stay in our programming and outreach,” says Tim Skogen, executive director of The First Tee of the Coachella Valley since 2014.

VIDEO: Tim Skogen, executive director of The First Tee Coachella Valley, talks about the program’s retention and impact on golf in the valley.

At its annual celebration of sponsors, supporters, and participants, the day isn’t just about teeing up; rather, the event further serves as a chance for the organization to showcase its year-round efforts that reach 7,000 kids across the valley with First Tee classes, golf camps, and community outreach.

“It’s a unique event in that we have youth participants in different activities while the tournament is going on,” adds Skogen.

Tournament participants will enjoy golf clinics and lunch preceding play, followed by dinner and a silent auction.

“The auction is an assortment of country clubs, restaurants, health clubs and some great support from the local hotel industry, with room nights and amenities,” says Skogen, adding that auction items will include getaway opportunities ranging from mountain cottage stays to resorts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Scottsdale, and Washington state.

Skogen says future goals are focused on adding bilingual coaching, as well as enhancing First Tee programming in local elementary schools. The annual tournament is a key to promote the program’s growing presence across the desert, he adds.

“It’s an opportunity to show the great qualities in these kids in a setting other than our First Tee classrooms,” Skogen says. “It’s a chance to show the impact, and give these kids a chance to interact with adults in a very positive way.”

Limited spots remain open. To register for the tournament, or to learn more about The First Tee of the Coachella Valley, tee-up your browser to or phone 760-779-1877.