The First Tee of Hawaii getting creative with virtual lessons


The First Tee of Hawaii

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The First Tee of Hawaii has been staying engaged in the midst of a pandemic.

“We have a six foot putting challenge for all of our Instagram followers,” explained Stephen Small, the program director for The First Tee of Hawaii. “Just like we should stay six feet away from people, we’re challenging our followers to see how many they can make in a row from six feet.”

Stephen Small is the program director for Hawaii’s chapter of The First Tee. The first session of the year was almost finished when the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold. And now, all activity is on hold until at least June third.

“I’m just seeing a lot of virtual community being formed through our students,” said Small. “A lot of our students are at that 10-15 year old age range. And so they have the connections through the various internet applications and stuff like that to make sure that they are still able to keep that community and challenge each other and still get better at golf and keep that community going.”

They’ve also done Instagram Live lessons with pros, like Claude Brousseau, the director of instruction at Wailea and a Golf Channel Academy coach.

“We were able to connect and Claude asked how he could help out,” said Small. “And following suit, like I mentioned, with lots of other people on Facebook and instagram, Claude has a lot of knowledge and experience and we were honored to have him on just to give him some quick at-home tips, and just some advice for us as golfers as we’re in our house for the next couple weeks.”

On Tuesday, private golf courses were ordered to close in Honolulu, joining the already shut down public ones.

“If there’s a way to be on the golf course and be safe, we would love that opportunity,” said Small. “But right now we’re just following the advisement of the professionals and the expertise of those that know what is the safest way to do stuff right now.”

The First Tee of Hawaii – yet another sports organization waiting to re-start.

“We can’t wait,” said Small. “We can’t wait to get out there. The classes that were supposed to start this week will be fully refunded or will be rolled over into that June third date for the First Tee of Hawaii. Man, we cannot wait to get out on the golf course.”

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