The mission of Pro Kids | The First Tee of 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.
Through a unique set of programs that combine sport, study, and service, we provide youth grades 2 – 12 with equitable access to opportunities that will set them on the path to success in adulthood, with support and scholarship service for program alumni.
In 1994, former San Diego Charger Ernie Wright and a group of community leaders launched Pro Kids, with the idea that teaching underserved youth the game of golf could help them develop the character and life skills required to find success in school and in life. That year, a small group of kids participated in the program at Colina Park, a run-down golf course in City Heights, one of San Diego’s poorest and most challenged communities at the time. The program started with a small group of dedicated volunteers, including local golf professionals, and served as a model for the PGA’s The First Tee program (now an international organization). In 1998 we became a charter member of The First Tee, becoming Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego.
While our founder Ernie passed away in 2007, his passion for helping kids succeed in life continues at Pro Kids today. Since 1994, we have seen over 20,000 kids transform through the values intrinsic to the game of golf—honesty, confidence, and respect.