Articles and Interviews

Golf Talk

With Ron Bibeau Executive Director of the First Tee of Maine

Question:

Ron you’re the Executive Director of the First Tee of Maine, one of the top Golf Professionals in Maine and have had a successful career as a player.  How did you get your start in golf?

Answer:

I was very fortunate as a kid to have parents that played golf and my dad was an avid golfer that taught the etiquette of the game.  He was adamant to teach me the right way and did not let me play until I spent numerous hours on the practice tee and green.

Question:

Being the Executive Director of the First Tee, working with kids is obviously important to you.  Can you talk about some of the things the First Tee is doing in Maine?

Answer:

The First Tee of Maine is currently offering programming in 9 locations,  teaching life skills and golf to an estimated 1,000 young people here in Maine.  We are also involved with 39 elementary schools offering The National School Program through the physical education classes taught by the physical education teachers.  We have partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters and several Rec departments to offer after school programming as well.

Question:

There is a certain impression that golf is for kids with means but the  first tee is making an effort to get kids of all economic classes involved in golf can you talk about that?

Answer:

The First Tee was originated to bring children to the game that would not have the chance to be introduced to the game, because of financial or ethnic reasons.  Here in Maine we are serving under privileged and under served youth from all communities.

Question:

The First Tee is more than just getting kids to play a sport.  A big part of the program is the 9 core values, can you tell us what they are and how they are the basis for your program?

Answer:

Our Nine Core Values are the foundation of our programming, when you are  teaching, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, courtesy, confidence, judgment, perseverance and judgement it is easy to translate them in to golf.  We require all of our students to know the core values and understand how you use them at home,  in school and on the golf course.

Question:

Being a successful teacher yourself, what was the best advice you ever  got?

Answer:

The best advice I have ever had relates to the set-up, if you are not set up with the proper grip, stance and posture you will have a hard time to swing the club and create centerness of contact with the club. I was also told once to “Hit the ball find it and Hit it again” I think of this saying often when playing.