Golf is the hook; education is the payoff

Pro Kids is more than a sports program for youth!



The mission of Pro Kids, First Tee – San Diego is to challenge underserved youth to excel in life by promoting character development, life skills, and values through education and the game of golf.

Connecting Youth, Sports, and Education

Through a set of programs that combine sport, study, and service, we provide youth grades 2-12 with access to opportunities that set them on a path to success in adulthood.

Pro Kids serves as a welcoming home to kids across San Diego with primary program locations in City Heights and Oceanside. We believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential – to become Pro Kids. Seventy-five percent of our enrolled youth qualify for, and receive, income-based or military status scholarships covering full program membership fees, strengthening our promise to provide impactful educational and enrichment services to San Diego’s most vulnerable and challenged youth.

Brief History

Pro Kids was founded in 1994 by former AFL/NFL player Ernest H. Wright, Sr. and a group of community leaders, who saw the game of golf as a way to help underserved youth develop the character and life skills required to find success in school and in life. In 2012, we opened a second location in Oceanside. Ernie passed in 2007, but his passion for helping kids succeed in life continues. Since 1994, we have seen over 25,000 kids’ lives transformed through values intrinsic to the game of golf – honesty, confidence, and respect.

Pro Kids is part of the First Tee, an international youth development organization founded by the PGA and other associations to advance the game of golf. The First Tee modeled their program on Pro Kids and in 1998, Pro Kids became a charter member, adopting the name Pro Kids – First Tee, San Diego

For more than 25 years Pro Kids has been providing opportunities and opening doors for youth in underserved communities. Since its inception in 1999, more than $2.5 million has been awarded to 250 scholars, many of whom are the first in their families to pursue a higher education and rely on scholarship funding to make school affordable.