Taylor Lambertsen

Taylor Lambertsen

First Tee Greater Chicago

3701 N. Recreation Drive

Suite 2

3701 N. Recreation Drive Suite 2, Chicago, Illinois 60613, US



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Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
Other (Indicate specific awards below in 3-a)

Other awards won:
2021 U.S. Kids Top 50 Junior Coach Award

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 100-150
Female: 150-200
Junior: 300-400

Total number of individual clinics given per year:

Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
I recently took a new job this past year in an effort to not only grow my career but develop a new generation of youth golfers. Over the last five years, I have been an assistant golf professional at several country clubs on the North Shore of Chicago. I ran the women’s programs and junior programs through the years truly learning that my passion is teaching and specifically juniors. I was presented with the Director of Instruction position at the First Tee Greater Chicago earlier this year and could not think of a better fit for what I have a passion for.

The First Tee Greater Chicago serves over 3,000 junior golfers annually. Their mission is to empower the youth by seamlessly integrating golf with core life skills that one needs to succeed. This year, we opened a brand new facility called Waveland Clubhouse. It is located on the North side of Chicago right on Lake Michigan. With this new facility came a 60,000 square foot short game area, hitting bays and a bunker for golfers to practice every day at. An integral part of my role coming in was planning for what day to day classes, summer camps, private instruction, and clinics were going to look like at Waveland. Upon completion of the project in July, we had sold out of all summer classes, 8 weeks of summer camps, and weekend classes. Although our main focus has been our new facility on the North Side of the city, we have already begun the installation of two new facilities to help continue our programming.

One of the new sites specifically will have a scaled golf course for juniors in efforts for them to learn the game properly. If you are not familiar with this system, the ASGCA and U.S. Kids Golf came up with a system to correctly scale each set of tees based on a driver distance. This program has increased play with juniors because they enjoy the game while improving each time.

Along with these new facilities has come new partnerships. We are currently partnered with over 25 Chicago schools, 15 Outreach Programs and 4 new Golf Course partnerships. We have created these lasting relationships due to the life skill and golf combo that we teach students as they enter our program. One specific partnership that has truly touched me is a Chicago school by the name of Chicago Hope Academy. Their Youth Entrepreneurship Class has taken on our program and created a fundraiser taking their golf skills and life skills to the test. This upcoming month, we are hosting a fundraiser for college scholarships. I have worked on creating a 9-Hole mini golf course with them in each classroom throughout the school to showcase their skills and imagination while also fundraising. They have a long drive contest, a closest to the pin, and more to share as they continue on in their planning. If it wasn’t for the partnership of the First Tee and Chicago Hope Academy, this would not be possible or an interest for their students.

At the First Tee, I have implemented new programs as they have always started at age 7 and up. I started a Little Linkers Program that allows little ones ages 2 to 6 years old to begin learning the basics of golf. We sold out of four program classes and had to implement two more sessions to accommodate for all the interest. Making the game easy and fun for the little ones is so important because they are the future generation of golfers.

Another program that I started at the First Tee is our On Course Play Days with Coach Taylor. During the summer season, each Tuesday and Thursday, a select few are picked to play at a local course or even Country Clubs. I will test their skills, teach them the rules and course etiquette as they continue on in the program. Being on the course isn’t just about golf but about learning respect for staff, the course, and your opponents. We take what we learn in the lessons about honesty, respect, integrity and sportsmanship and apply it to all aspects of the game of golf. It truly has created a bond for many as they come into these days with a sense of uncertainty but walking away with friendships and success.

Being the Director of Instruction for First Tee has opened many doors for me. This year we had several clinics that we had juniors participate in as well as kids that are not yet in the program. We hosted clinics at the NV5 Invitational at The Glen Club. We worked with Lurie Children’s Hospital for their golf outing, and the Western Am and Women’s Western Am. Each of these clinics generally hosted 50-100 junior golfers.

With all of this being said, I have truly found my passion for growing the game of golf. The high fives, smiles, laughs and excitement that radiates off their faces keeps everyone coming back for more.

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
As mentioned above, I have implemented new programs at the First Tee of Chicago. Little Linkers, Summer Camps and On Course Play Days have been a game changer to our programming. It is opening up doors for those who have not had access to learning or a facility to practice at.

While creating the lesson plans for classes and summer camps, I have taken the First Tee Life Lessons Curriculum and paired them with the U.S. Kids Golf Curriculum to help educate and teach juniors the game of golf. The importance of both programs helps build these juniors into well rounded athletes who fall in love with the game of golf.

One unique part of First Tee is the opportunities that students receive as being a part of the program. They qualify for scholarships, golf tournaments, national events, and more as they progress through the program. This year, we were able to showcase two of our top female golfers at a tournament in Florida. They both competed for our chapter and came back to tell their story to all of the other juniors in class. One of the national opportunities was through our PGA Tour Leadership Series. Two of our junior golfers were selected to attend a week at Arthur Blank’s ranch in Montana. This Leadership Series that they attended taught them invaluable lessons that they will never forget. It truly is a one-of-a-kind program that has life long lasting memories for all.

As I mentioned above, teaching truly is my passion. Creating a fun, safe, and educational learning environment for golfers to succeed is what I strive to do each day. From 2 year old’s to 90 year old’s, the smile on their face when they play the game is what seals the deal. Golf has brought so much joy and opportunity to my life which is why I am a Director of Instruction stiving to do the same for others.