About Us

We enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.

We are a nonprofit organization (FEIN 03-0506671) that provides high-quality academic programs and golf skill instruction. Above all, First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains serves the community without regard to racial, cultural, sexual or religious orientation or affiliation.

Our Mission

The mission of First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains is to educate and inspire youth academically, socially, and physically through the game of golf.


In 2001, Denver Junior Golf served 200 children at one location. Former Junior Golf Director, David Kolquist, went to the schools within walking distance of City Park Golf Course. There he met with school personnel and students. Meetings for the upcoming summer session got eight kids. There was a need for a new and different approach to introduce the target group of kids to golf. As a result, he set out to create an alternative for under-served youth to provide academic and character development outside the regular school setting. More kids became involved because of fun, unique golf experiences and multiple opportunities for continual involvement. Kids then discovered a positive alternative that supported their growth into upstanding adults.

Why We Started

At that time First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains started more than 90% of the children were in the free and reduced lunch program at the nearby school. To combat those issues, the junior golf program became free or reduced fee and offered more than just golf. For those reasons, First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains, was created in order to raise dollars to supplement the junior golf program. The goal of the program became to get more youth involved – particularly those who were under-served. Denver’s municipal golf courses are primarily located in older inner-city neighborhoods. Due to that fact, the ethnic makeup of these neighborhoods is largely African-American and Hispanic. However, the participants in the city’s junior golf program were primarily Caucasian youth from more affluent areas of Denver. Consequently, golf was not only unpopular – it was strangely foreign to the kids who lived nearest to the golf course.

Where We Are Today

First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains is currently the largest chapter nationally out of nearly 160 chapters. In 2023 we served over 11,000 kids in 10 Colorado counties, and continue to grow each year.

What We Strive To Do

We strive to provide resources and opportunities for children and ultimately benefiting the community by helping to create good citizens. Similarly, the values-based programs reward responsible behavior, provide character development, and provide a fun engaging sport alternative that youth can benefit from for a lifetime.


  • Build trust with children, schools and the community for a partnership that will effectively enhance the quality of life for all citizens
  • Provide alternatives to dropping out of school, drug use, teen pregnancy, gangs and violence
  • Enhance participants’ self-esteem, build confidence and promote teamwork
  • Continue to be an efficient resource that uses existing partnerships for cost-effective operations
  • Motivate participants to learn a new sport, have fun and be healthy
  • Create positive experiences for children and young people from four-years-old through college
  • Never turn any child away for inability to pay
  • Have fun

Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency

Our organization earned a 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency! Now, everyone can see our strategy, metrics, and achievements. Check out our profile on Candid to learn more!

Denver Junior Golf DBA First Tee – Colorado Rocky Mountains is a non-profit organization (FEIN 03-0506671)