Junior Golf Foundation of Greater Kansas City
7501 Blue River Road
Kansas City MO 64132


Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 648-7177
Mission Statement
To impact the lives of young people in the Greater Kansas City area by providing learning opportunities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Golf is a sport that encourages perseverance, integrity, and respect. The organization emphasizes nine core values applicable to sports, home, school, and community: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgement.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Brigette Chirpich
Board Chair Mr. Bob Fischgrund
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
To impact the lives of young people in the Greater Kansas City area by providing learning opportunities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Golf is a sport that encourages perseverance, integrity, and respect. The organization emphasizes nine core values applicable to sports, home, school, and community: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgement.
Background Statement
The First Tee of Greater Kansas City (FTGKC) is a youth development organization that blends the game of golf with positive values to teach young people life skills and confidence. Founded as the Junior Golf Foundation of Greater Kansas City in 1999, FTGKC became a local chapter of The First Tee international organization in 2000. The First Tee international organization began in 1997 as a partnership among the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR, and the USGA. The organization was started to bring affordable junior golf programs to communities that did not have them, especially in underserved areas, and to involve more kids in playing golf.
The First Tee of GKC program has become a model for the First Tee Program, a national undertaking to make golf more accessible and more affordable to all boys and girls. We are a 501c(3) nonprofit led by a passionate and involved board of directors. The First Tee of GKC is currently one of the largest and best-performing chapters in the global First Tee network.
The First Tee’s National Schools Program (NSP) was the organization’s initial program in 2004 to help schools address gaps in physical education and youth development programming.
The First Tee launched the Life Skills Experience (LSE) program to offer a more intensive program blending golf instruction with a life skills curriculum. This program has grown from five locations in 2014 to a core program offering at all nine area golf centers in 2017. We now offer a consolidated version of LSE as an outreach strategy.
The Life Skills Experience levels and corresponding skills are:
  • Target: Introduces participants to LSE by providing a fun and safe environment that creates curiosity about the game of golf.
  • PLAYer: Introduces playing the game of golf with special emphasis on learning golf and The First Tee Code of Conduct.
  • PAR: Focuses on interpersonal communication and self-management skills.
  • BIRDIE: Emphasizes goal-setting.
  • EAGLE: Concentrates on resilience skills, conflict resolution, and planning for the future.
  • ACE: The advanced level of the LSE; focuses on personal planning for golf, education, career, and volunteerism.
Impact Statement
2017 Accomplishments:
  • The National Schools Program saw a 50% increase in the number of students reached.
  • First Tee of Greater Kansas City increased the number of service sites for the Life Skills Experience (LSE) program from six in 2016 to nine in 2017. The First Tee increased the number of youth participating in the LSE program by 138%, from 558 youth in 2016 to 1,325 in 2017. We increased the number of LSE classes offered from 126 in 2016 to 139 in 2017. We also gave more individual lessons, with 908 in 2017 compared to 863 in 2016. The diversity of Life Skills Experience participants increased, with the proportion of non-white participants rising from 20% to 43%.
  • We reached over 11,000 youth through our outreach programs.
  • Twenty-nine coaches and 34 volunteer assistant coaches participated in training programs, the Life Skills Experience program, and outreach programs.

2018 Goals:
  • Increase the retention rate of teen participants from 14 % to 20%.
  • Increase strategic partnerships with youth-serving organizations by 33%.
  • Increase the number of people reached through our outreach program by 58%.
  • Increase the number of registrants in the Life Skills Experience program to 1900, from 1325 in 2017.
  • Increase the proportion of participants who are female to 50 percent. Currently, female participants make up 38% of all participants.
Needs Statement
  • The deepest need for First Tee programming in 2018 is transportation funding. Many participants and potential participants for the LSE program and those who come to The First Tee through outreach and partnerships face significant transportation barriers. Some program sites are not near public transportation routes. Transportation support would increase retention rates as well as initial registration numbers.
  • We also have a deep need for funding to train coaches. Currently, there are 29 paid and 34 volunteer coaches for The First Tee. Individual coaches’ training levels vary, but training for certification to coach for the Life Skills Experience program can cost up to $35,000. Training to certify coaches at the lowest levels of proficiency typically costs between $2,500 and $10,000. Our coaches are most commonly students in high school or college, recent college graduates, and people over the age of 50.
  • Increasing the diversity of our coaches is also a goal that additional training funding will help.
  • Our National School Program requires significant amounts of age-appropriate equipment for students who participate in the program. The program serves approximately 10,000 students annually, and all classes must have adequate equipment for the program to be effective.
  • Finally, The First Tee consistently needs general operating support. With five full-time staff and a dedicated volunteer base of 35, The First Tee is committed to sustainable use of existing resources. However, operational support will allow us to expand our services to more youth.
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Elementary & Secondary Schools
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO - Clay County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
MO - Ray County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Gandhi is well-known for saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." At The First Tee, we work tirelessly to live up to Gandhi's charge. We are the change in many ways: tearing down barriers so ALL children have access to the Life Skills Experience Program; mentoring the children to understand the game of golf and how it translates to their life off the course; educating, empowering and encouraging them to use their new skills everyday with everyone; and focusing on Nine Core values of Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment.
To do all of this, The First Tee "meets the children where they are" throughout the Greater Kansas City area. Whether it is in their schools, in their community centers, or in their parks, we travel to them to start the learning and mentoring process. In total, The First Tee worked with over 1,300 children in the Life Skills Experience.
But the magic happens when they step foot on the real golf course. The children may practice in a school-yard but a golf course is a completely different experience and a true lesson in using all of the Nine Core Values they are learning. On the course, children experience the peacefulness, the community, the encouragement, the success and the respect in new ways.
Because the sport is a hook, it inspires children to be participants for years to come. Over that time, coaches become mentors, and participants become the leaders and the change we want to see.
The First Tee pays for all expenses of the urban core programs. In 2017 The First Tee gave more than 200 sets of golf clubs away to children who could not afford their own set.
Pressing needs at The First Tee:
  • Funding for coach training ($2,000 per coach).
  • Funding for transportation. When The First Tee provides the Life Skills Experience for a community center, the transportation cost reaches between $600-$1,000.
  • Properly outfitting our children of need. Although it is not necessary for a child to have their own set of golf clubs or a collared shirt on the golf course, The First Tee awards children with these items as they grow in the program. The responsibility and respect for themselves, the environment and others around them is a key component of these Core Values. The collared shirts cost the organization $10,000 annually and the junior golf clubs cost approximately $150/set.
The Life Skills Experience (LSE) program is an afterschool program that teaches critical life skills to participants ages 7-17 based upon The First Tee’s Nine Core Values® of Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, and Judgement. The program incorporates five components: core lesson exposure, life skills application, golf skills application, life skills knowledge, and golf knowledge.
Participants move through the program in modules that last ten hours over six to eight weeks. Participants progress through five levels over the course the program: Player, Par, Birdie, Eagle, and Ace. Typically, high-school age youth reach the Birdie, Eagle, and Ace levels. Ace-level youth complete four self-led projects: assessing golf skills, giving back to the participant’s chapter and community, planning for a future career, and exploring future educational opportunities.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), ,
Short-Term Success
All youth that participate in the LSE program will be observed and assessed by trained coaches, and will respond to a post-program survey.
  • 80% of youth in First Tee programs will report that they have never played golf.
  • 80% of participants will report that they learned a life skill or value that can help them in other areas of their life.
  • 85% of participants will report that they learned how to respect themselves, others, and their environment.
Long-Term Success
The ultimate goal for the LSE program is to introduce the game of golf as a way to help young people develop new and improved attitudes, knowledge, and life skills in the domains of social-emotional control, goal setting, and conflict resolution that will transfer to school and other aspects of life including work/college, friendships, family, and sports.
Program Success Monitored By
Coaches and mentors monitor participant development throughout the LSE program through formative assessments that include skills checklists and observation of golf skills and life skills at each level (Target, PLAYer, PAR, BIRDIE, EAGLE, ACE).
From the time of enrollment, LSE participants are entered and tracked in our database. Throughout the program, retention and progress are also entered into the database and tracked by The First Tee “home office”.
The national First Tee organization also evaluates individual chapters for proper delivery of LSE, which includes fidelity to the program’s core principles and best practices, and the effectiveness of evaluations. The First Tee of Greater Kansas City is one of the top ten chapters, out of more than 164 domestically, for proper delivery.
Examples of Program Success
“The First Tee gave me my first set of clubs, some of which I still use today. The inexpensive lessons and discounts I received through the program made learning and improving my game significantly easier. The First Tee impacted my life by increasing my golf skills and improving my life skills. I met many students my age and was able to develop my social skills on and off the golf course. The Nine Core Values helped me build my confidence and develop good sportsmanship through the emphasis of honesty and holding myself accountable for my actions. This taught me to think before I act and to handle myself with grace when I make [a] mistake. The First Tee will continue to benefit me in the future. As I move into my college years and apply for internships, then jobs and promotions, I believe my ability to play a solid, respectful game of golf will set me apart from others and will allow me to make connections and better opportunities.”
-The First Tee Scholarship Winner
The National Schools Program (NSP) is a physical education curriculum that teaches school-aged children about life skills while introducing them to the game of golf. The program is delivered on site at area schools. NSP schools receive:
  1. Developmentally appropriate golf equipment called SNAG (Starting New at Golf)
  2. A Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) certified (evidence-based) curriculum to implement within their school
  3. Training for the teachers to deliver the program on their own. The NSP curriculum aligns with national physical education standards established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). 
The First Tee of Greater Kansas City joined forces with the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) golf youth outreach program to reach even more youth in Kansas City.
The First Tee of Greater Kansas City currently partners with 32 schools in Kansas City, Kansas, and three schools in Kansas City, Missouri.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), ,
Short-Term Success
The program’s short-term success indicators strongly align with long-term success indicators. The most important short-term success indicator is the number of students who participate in the program, and the number of schools that implement the program. We also emphasize reaching schools in underserved areas, where the student bodies may not have exposure to golf.
We also hope to see behavioral changes in participants. This includes academic habits, positive behavioral changes, and development of healthy attitudes that reflect the Nine Core Values.
Short-term success also includes seeing participants in the program begin to play golf on courses, incorporating the physical education of the program to their lives outside of school.
Long-Term Success
The program’s long-term success indicators will be the number of students who participate in the program, and the number of schools that implement it.
We desire to see students who have experienced the program take up golf as a long-term hobby, playing on courses or as an extracurricular activity. Program success indicators will also include long-term behavioral changes among students who have participated. Our aim is for the program to create positive attitude and behavioral changes in the classroom, at home, and in students’ relationships with family, friends, teachers, and other adults. Long-term success will be reflected in positive feedback from educators and students.
Since the program curriculum aligns with National School Standards for PE curriculums, we also define long-term success in part by the program’s objectives and practices being incorporated into wider curriculums that include other sports or subjects.
Program Success Monitored By Program success will be monitored by the number of students who participate and the number of schools that implement the program annually. Feedback from educators and students also help us monitor the program’s effectiveness.
Examples of Program Success
Numerous teachers have reported that NSP has helped students who struggle with other sports but demonstrate aptitude for golf. The program has given these students the opportunity to develop a set of skills and a health-promoting hobby that they otherwise would not have had.
A story that we are particularly proud of involves a student at a participating school who had been identified by the school administration as having experienced trauma. The student’s teachers remarked that he previously had been hostile with other students during PE classes, and had struggled to exhibit respectful behaviors with his teachers in the past. During this lesson, teachers reported that he exhibited extremely respectful behaviors to both his classmates and teachers, and engaged with the lesson and the game more than anyone else in the class.
The First Tee of GKC partners with youth development organizations to deliver outreach instructional classes, clinics, and camps. We create condensed curricula of golf and life skills based on the needs of participating youth.
Our partnerships connect youth served by various organizations with First Tee Programming. Past and current partners include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Down Syndrome Guild, the Midwest Section of the PGA SNAG-A-School, Mattie Rhodes Center, Hickman Mills School District, Gordon Parks Elementary, Camp WIN, and the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.
The First Tee will also attend special events, school events, youth-centered fairs and events, and mini-clinics such as the Kansas City Golf Show throughout the year to raise awareness and increase enrollment in our programming.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), ,
Short-Term Success Short-term success indicators will include year-to-year increases in registration numbers for Life Skills Experience classes. We will also measure the number of clinics we host at new and existing partner organizations that introduce golf and other The First Tee educational goals such as the Nine Core Values. These organizations include youth service agencies, schools, or professional associations.
Long-Term Success Our Outreach program’s top goal is introducing golf to diverse audiences. Increasing the overall number of participants in The First Tee of Greater Kansas City programming through community events or partnerships indicates long-term success for the Outreach program.
Program Success Monitored By The First Tee of Greater Kansas City and The First Tee national agency will assess the number of collaborative program participants. We will also track how many The First Tee participants encounter our programs through our partners.
Examples of Program Success The First Tee’s partnership with Kansas City Parks and Recreation in 2017 has resulted in a renewal of the partnership for 2018. The partnership was a summer Life Skills Experience program. It included between two and three sessions in which The First Tee coaches went to each of ten Parks and Rec week-long summer camp locations. Parks and Recreation also provided transportation to the Tom Watson Golf Center in Kansas City for camp attendees to have a chance to play on a real course. The program served over 350 campers, and received positive feedback from Parks and Recreation staff.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Brigette Chirpich
Term Start Feb 2015
Brigette Chirpich was installed as Executive Director of Junior Golf Foundation of Kansas City, dba The First Tee of Greater Kansas City in February 2015. In her time, she has increased invested holdings from $967K to $2.1M and the number of children impacted annually from 3,000 to over 20,000.
Chirpich has a Master’s in Business Administration from Rockhurst University, a Bachelor’s in Science from University of Missouri and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Chirpich spent twenty years in the entertainment industry managing amusement parks prior to her twelve year career in the nonprofit sector.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Jill Harlan (Lamson) Jan 2001 - Oct 2005
Sally Sportsman Jan 1997 - Dec 1999
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Title Development Manager
Paid Full-Time Staff 5
Paid Part-Time Staff 29
Volunteers 40
Paid Contractors 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
  • The First Tee
  • Parks and Recreation Department, Kansas City, MO
  • Blue Hills Association
  • Swope Corridor Association
  • WIN for KC
  • Girl Scouts
  • Alta Vista Elementary
  • Guadalupe Center
  • Hope Leadership Academy
  • USD 500
  • Mattie Rhodes Center
  • Kansas City Golf Association
  • Golf Foundation of Kansas City
  • Midwest Section, PGA of America
ACE Award for Chapter ExcellenceThe First Tee2009
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
Our staff is experienced, highly trained, motivated and dedicated to our mission.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Bob Fischgrund
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
Board Members
Mr. Jeff Anthony
Mr. Jeff Anthony
Ms. Sarah Brookfield
Mr. Rob Bykowski
Greg Carlson Burns McDowell
Michael Collins President, Kansas City Port Authority
Zach Dyer Polsinelli PC
Mr. Frank Emert
Bob Fischgrund
Todd Fitzpatrick Bank Officer
Jeremy Gaskill President, Humana Kansas City
Greg Johnson Attorney, Husch, Blackwell
Mr. Dennis McCormack
Mark McHenry Director of Parks & Recreation, Kansas City, MO
Adam Sachs Partner, Husch Blackwell
Tony Tappan President, Cienna Corp
Ms. Carolyn Watley
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 15
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Advisory Board Members
Bob Adams
Charlie Adams
Judy Adams
Larry Armel
Gary Baker, PhD
Mary Jane Barnes
Henry Bloch
George Brett
Pat Brooks
Roger Buford
Bill Crandall
Vince Dasta
John Erickson
Dave Flanders
Ollie Gates
Bill Grant
Don Hall
J. Scott Harrison
Jim Hebenstreit
Graham Hunt
Chuck Hunter
Jeff Jernigan
Craig Jorgenson
Dick Landon
Charles Lewis III
Martha Linscott
Cheryl Lockton Williams
Jim Lynch
Rob Park
Jim Polsinelli
Skip Rein
Grant Renne III
Tom Rhone
Chuck Rubin
Bob Sawyer
Ed Sayers
Bill Sayler
Randy Seiner
Russell Shelden MD
Mike Thiessen
Roger Twibell
Bill Ward
Bill Washington
Maurice Watson
Frank Young
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $577,500
Projected Expenses $642,806
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$420,535$377,491$416,423
Administration Expense$46,168$39,033$43,354
Fundraising Expense$7,397$22,584$10,397
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.441.001.57
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%86%89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%6%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,451,748$1,269,541$1,227,838
Current Assets$1,451,497$1,268,290$1,223,187
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$1,451,748$1,269,541$1,227,838
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments
While we find ourselves in a healthy financial situation, the Board of Directors and staff have undertaken the long term financial stability of our organization as our highest non-programming task.
Organization Name Junior Golf Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Address 7501 Blue River Road
Kansas City, MO 64132
Primary Phone (913) 648-7177
Contact Email info@thefirstteekc.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Brigette Chirpich
Board Chair Mr. Bob Fischgrund
Year of Incorporation 2000