Els for Autism
#GameON Program

First Tee – Upstate South Carolina is excited to continue expanding Els for Autism #GameON golf programming in 2021! This program is led by Coach Laura Maurer who brings her knowledge and passion as a Speech Language Pathologist to the golf course. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects 1 in 59 children living in the United States and we are excited to offer golf on an individually appropriate level to children 7 years and older and young adults with ASD and other cognitive challenges.

The Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf program is infused with evidence-based practices for teaching golf to people with ASD. Participants learn golf skills while practicing specific autism learning concepts, including communication, emotional regulation, motor, and social skills. The goal of the program is for participants to achieve their individual golf successes, build confidence and self-esteem, in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment. Visual aids, social stories, and communication boards are offered to the large group and on an individual level as needed.

Watch this quick 2020 highlight video to learn more about First Tee- Upstate South Carolina! At minute 2:33 hear from Coach Laura, #GameON golfer, John Connor, and watch an overview of what a #GameON golf class looks like!

Click on the button below to read a blog post with more pictures and to learn more about the heart and mission of our Els for Autism #GameON Programming!

Growing the Game While Connecting the Community

If you or your company is interested in helping to grow this program financially, please click here to donate or contact Michael Pius, PGA Executive Director at (864)268-3309 or [email protected].

Throughout the year, this program is offered for 8-week sessions in the Spring and Fall and a 6-week Summer Session alongside the rest of our class offerings. In addition to these sessions, we offer occasional family clinic play days where siblings and parents are encouraged to golf alongside their #GameON golfer. Please Contact Laura Maurer at [email protected] with any questions regarding any of the #GameON programming.