Golf will be introduced to the elementary school physical education curriculum in September through The First Tee, a program that exposes students to the concepts through fun activities and games that can be played indoors or outdoors. Above, Michael Blackwell of The First Tee talks to Linden’s physical education teachers about the program during a professional development session on May 11. Below is a video of the teachers having some fun learning the games their students will be playing in the fall.

By Gary Miller

Linden Public Schools will be unveiling a program in the fall to introduce golf into the physical education curriculum for elementary school students.

The First Tee National School Program, through a partnership with Elizabethtown Gas, has provided the equipment and instruction for fun golf-based games that can be played outdoors or in the gym. Students will be using clubs that work with Velcro balls, similar in size and appearance to tennis balls. The games also include obstacles and targets that can be used to teach students about chipping and putting, in a safe way that emphasizes teamwork.

“We’re grateful to The First Tee National School Program and Elizabethtown Gas for giving us the fantastic opportunity to introduce golf to our elementary school students,” Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi said. “We are always looking for creative ways to diversify our physical education classes in order to motivate students to keep moving and build a love for fitness. Learning golf now could pay dividends for our students far down the road with a lifetime of physical activity and enjoyment.”

Elementary school physical education teachers got together at School No. 10 for an afternoon of training on May 11 where they learned how to integrate the program into their classes – and had some fun themselves trying out the equipment and playing games, including “golf baseball.”

teachers and First Tee officials pose for a photo

Linden Public Schools physical education staff gather with representatives of The First Tee. From left are teacher Brandon Czajkowski; Ed Brockner, executive director of The First Tee of Metropolitan New York; Joe Ubil, master coach with The First Tee of Plainfield; Bill Castner, program director for The First Tee of Plainfield; Tina Early of Elizabethtown Gas; Michael Blackwell, Northeast regional director for The First Tee; Linden Director of Health and Physical Education Steven Viana; and teachers Michael Marino, Robert Kurtz, Clint Beriont and Fran Kreisberg.