Many years ago, well before my career in real estate began, I was enamored with golf. I’d spend hours on the course improving my game and perfecting my swing, convinced that one day I’d finally “go pro.”

My dreams of becoming a golf superstar didn’t pan out, but the wonderful lessons I learned through the game and the IMG Academy helped me get where I am today. I developed a strong work ethic, confidence, and perseverance in the face of adversity and competition.

So when I had the opportunity to partner with The First Tee of Phoenix in 2018, I was thrilled. Their local chapter of the nationwide non-profit changes the lives of young people in Phoenix through golf training and education (just like it did for me).

If you missed our 2018 campaign with them, you can read more about The First Tee Phoenix here. During our month-long campaign, we raised enough to sponsor 10 deserving kids so they could attend the program for an entire year.

Even with this support, the dedicated people at The First Tee of Phoenix were beginning to recognize a distressing trend: significant student dropoff after the Par level.

The First Tee of Phoenix team reached out to Homes for Good to talk about how a brand new partnership could help keep deserving kids golfing in their program for longer — and eventually reap the enormous benefits of the program’s more advanced levels.

The Golf Glass Ceiling

The First Tee of Phoenix organizes its budding golfers into separate categories depending on age and golf experience:

PLAYer – Learn the game of golf and The First Tee’s Code of Conduct.

Par – Focus on interpersonal and self-management skills.

Birdie – Emphasis on setting goals and achieving them.

Eagle – Learn resilience, conflict resolution, and future planning.

Ace – Hone in on setting goals, career education, and giving back.

Right around the time that kids “graduate” from Par to Birdie — when students are beginning to get more serious about their game — sign-up rates drop significantly. This isn’t because of financial constraints or even interest. It all comes down to foresight.

Sadly, as kids begin to experience more stress with school and friends, their motivation to continue in the program wanes because they simply can’t see the extraordinary possibilities that await them at the Birdie, Eagle and Ace levels, including college scholarships, master trainers, and the chance to play alongside star golfers. What’s worse, they don’t get the opportunity to benefit from the life-changing mentorships they so desperately need in their teen years.

Operation: Graduation

To motivate kids to continue in the program and reignite their passion for golf, Homes for Good is excited to partner with The First Tee of Phoenix once again for a very different kind of venture:

A first-of-its-kind graduation ceremony for Birdie graduates!

Slated for early May 2019 at Papago Golf Course – The new home of ASU Sun Devils Golf, this graduation ceremony will make each and every kid that has completed the Par level feel special and excited about the next step. Right now there are about 50 students who are eligible for graduation, and with the right effort from the Homes for Good community, we can cover the graduation costs for every one of them.

By celebrating their success while highlighting the wonderful opportunities that are in store within the Birdie, Eagle and Ace programs, we hope to significantly increase the number of students who continue to develop their work ethic and self-esteem through The First Tee.

All funds raised through Homes for Good throughout our second-quarter campaign will go toward supporting this graduation ceremony. Any additional funding we raise will sponsor even more deserving kids in the program.

Your support will help kids learn about and gain access to opportunities like:

  • College scholarships
  • Advanced training
  • Championship games

How You Can Help

There are three simple ways you can help us raise money so local kids can take advantage of extraordinary mentorship and growth opportunities with The First Tee of Phoenix. (Austin Bates and V.I.P. Mortgage, our generous 2019 sponsorship partner, will be matching all donations as a Homes for Good title sponsor!)



$5 per open house

Plus $1 for every guest who enters that enters the home (including agents and their clients)

Find an Upcoming Open House


$1 for every guest that joins the Homes for Good newsletter

Join the Newsletter


We can’t wait to see the wonderful things that The First Tee of Phoenix graduates do on and off the course. Stay tuned!