Player Development Academy Powered by Op36

The goal of The First Tee of Greater Richmond’s Player Development Academy powered by Op36 is to shoot even par on 9-holes. By working from green to tee-box versus the traditional tee-box to green it lowers the challenge point and is a motivating way to learn and progress in the sport. As players progress through the academy, coaches will issue participants a series of goals and objectives that are not only educational but provide a long term road map for success. The Op36 mobile app allows golfers and coaches to view their goals and objectives, track stats, and connect and encourage others within the training academy. Golfers can earn points and win challenge set forth by academy coaches by playing, training, and accomplishing goals.

The Player Development Academy Program

This program consists of a one-hour class and 1.5-hour course play with an academy coach each week focusing on division objectives. In addition to division objectives, golfers will be introduced The First Tee Life Skills Curriculum and learn how to apply it to both the game of golf and life. Classes are offered Tuesday-Friday afterschool and course play is offered on Saturdays both with a max capacity of 8.

In addition to the Player Development Academy Program, The First Tee of Greater Richmond is also offering a Player Development Academy Summer Camp this year.

Click here to get started!


MARCH – MAY REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Please choose your facility on the left hand side to view class schedules.

Before Registering

All participants must be placed into a division in one of the two following ways-

  1. Complete Academy Bootcamp a 2.5 hour class and course play with an academy coach to learn and focus on golf fundamentals, skills, and techniques. It serves as an opportunity to be placed in proper Op36 division for the following week’s academy start.
  2. Fill out your player profile & attend a 30-minute consultation with the Player Development Coach, Sterling Simmons.

Financial Aid

A founding purpose of The First Tee is to make golf more accessible to all youth, particularly young people who otherwise may not have an opportunity to learn and play the game. Our policy is to provide access to programs regardless of a participant’s ability to play. Our financial aid program is funded by generous donors. Parents/guardians may apply for financial aid as part of the online registration process. Once you have applied for financial aid through the online registration, you will receive an email notification and can then complete the registration.

  • ​We cannot offer any ​prorated pricing for ​the ​Life Skills Experience Classes or Summer Camps.
  • Refunds ​will be subject to a $​15​.00 administrative fee.
  • Participants receiving financial aid are ​expected to have attendance records in good standing to ​remain eligible for future aid.

For further information, please contact Berkley Jackson:


Division 1

Starts golfers 25 yards from the hole with the goal to shoot even par on 9-holes. Introduction to basic golf skills through skill driven games and drills. Minimum age 5. 

Division II

Continued goal to shoot even par on 9-holes while starting golfers 50 yards from the hole. Learn appropriate golf rules and etiquette while further developing golf skills. Must complete Division I.

Division III

Continued goal to shoot even par on 9-holes while starting golfers 100 yards from the hole.  Emphasis on rules of play and course management strategies. Must complete Division II.

Division IV

Continued goal to shoot even par on 9-holes while starting golfers 150 yards from the hole. Focus on goal setting while continuing to emphasize rules and etiquette, course management strategies, and golf skills. Must complete Division III.

Division V

Continued goal to shoot even par on 9-holes while starting golfers 200 yards from the hole. Prioritize goal setting, course management strategies, and conflict resolution while advancing golf skills and knowledge.  Must complete Division IV.

Division VI

Continued goal to shoot even par on 9-holes while starting golfers from the full tee box.  Assess all golf rules and etiquette, golf skills, course management strategies, goal setting, and conflict resolution while perfecting technique. Must complete Division V.