First Tee offers math, reading help off the green

MADISON, Wis. - News 3 is spotlighting the growth and development happening in local kids – all thanks to the First Tee. 
The organization helps students overcome financial barriers to get into the game of golf, but it’s much more than that. First Tee also focuses on life skills and core values, preaching honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and more. 

One of the programs spurred by First Tee is the Renaissance Learning Program. It’s an after-school program helping kids excel in math and reading – and out on the links, too. 
Patricia Butler is one of the learning coordinators at the program, found at three different golf courses in town. 

"Golf was something far-fetched for me,” she said. "It was one of the last things I would've thought I would be a part of.” 

“Miss Pat,” as she’s known, recognizes the game is an opportunity to learn – especially on the north side, where she runs the program at Cherokee Country Club.  

"The kids [have] struggles,” she said. “It's something that you and I don't experience. Those kids experience more in one day than we experience in six months or a year or a lifetime.”

Miss Pat draws parallels between the game and life. 

"They go hand in hand, actually,” she said. “You can sit down and look at that ball and say, 'Hmm - if I hit it on this side it'll go this way - if I hit it straight, it might curve... just the way the curve of your life is."

About 250 students go through the First Tee learning center every year. For more information, visit 

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