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Teeing It Up

students with tai (September 6, 2023) Throughout this summer, Elkins Park staffer Tai Crutchfield teed up life lessons for up to 50 CSD students by teaching them about the game of golf. During the two four-week sessions he offered through First Tee - Greater Philadelphia, Crutchfield taught youngsters driving, chipping and putting, but also other lessons the game has to offer. 

“Golf teaches core values and life lessons,” said Crutchfield, whose 6-year-old daughter Skylar participated in the class. “You learn perseverance and integrity, and respect for your surroundings. It teaches patience and resilience.

“I’m dedicated to exposing kids to the sport,” Crutchfield said. “College golf scholarships are left on the table at an alarming rate. Teaching them golf is important because it can lead to other avenues and take you to places you never thought you’d see.”

CHS freshman Bijou Tilema likes the time on the course, saying “It’s pretty stress free. Golf has helped me be peaceful and work on balance. I can see strides in my game.”

“We want to reach as many people as possible,” said First Tee Program Manager Kristen Konieczki. “This program gives them an outlet outside of school, and they’re learning about life. To learn golf as a kid is so huge because it can carry over into so many things. In golf, you keep score yourself, so right there, they’re learning integrity.”

If you’re interested in volunteering with First Tee Philadelphia, email

Registration for Fall I Golf Classes is open now. Classes run from Sept. 25 - Nov. 1. Register at Classes are at the Abington Club (300 Meetinghouse Rd., Jenkintown, PA), Mondays Ages 7-9; Tuesdays (Girls), ages 7-18; and Wednesdays, ages 10-13.