Ask The Golf Coach

Scott Allen – swinging for inclusivity

Scott Allen has been coming to the Delaware beaches for 30 years, and, after accepting his position as Senior Southern Delaware Coordinator of First Tee—Delaware, has been a proud full-time resident for the past 3 years. First Tee—Delaware is a non-profit golf youth development organization serving the entire state of Delaware, as well as several counties in Maryland. “We provide exposure to the sport and the culture of golf for kids aged 4 through 18,” Scott explains.  There are currently 150 chapters of First Tee across the nation and Scott leads the teams in Southern Delaware. “Golf gets a bad reputation that it can be unwelcoming to kids, women, and minorities. But I think no matter who you are or where you’re from, there are places to play golf.”

Scott has athletic roots and started golfing at 11 years old. “I was introduced to the sport by my grandma who was a Physical Education instructor and coach. During a time when many women didn’t work or play golf, she taught Physical Education at the University of Delaware and loved golfing.” Scott’s mother was also an avid golfer, and it was “par for the course” that she encouraged him to play during his undergraduate career at George Washington University. While completing his master’s degree in International Affairs, Scott obtained his PGA membership and starting instructing. “It was always something I enjoyed,” he said. He coached Division 1 golf at both George Washington University and University of Pennsylvania.

Scott has parlayed his love of golf into a career and expanded his interest from hobby/pastime to a philanthropic journey, exposing as many people as possible to this amazing sport. “We even use golf to rehabilitate veterans,” Scott asserts. He was the former Executive Director of The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA), an organization that supports the mental and physical rehabilitation of post-9/11 wounded and injured veterans.

In 2010 Scott joined First Tee—Delaware, as a lead instructor, then Executive Director, and now holds his current position. Last year alone his organization taught golf to over 200 children in Sussex County. First Tee—Delaware helps provide exposure to golf while eliminating any intimidating factors. Golf can often be considered an exclusive sport that requires private memberships or club access. But Scott has always felt the contrary. “I want the culture of golf to not be intimidating with all the rules and etiquette. For me, golf is non-discriminatory and is truly a lifetime sport that anyone at any age can play.” He also describes golf as character building, and, by its very nature, teaches composure. “You’re competing against yourself. You play the course how you play and challenge yourself.”

Scott is also a part of the First Tee—Delaware School Program, where he and his colleagues create curriculum that meets state standards and train PE teachers on coaching golf. (A full circle homage to his grandma and the origins of golf for him.) They visited 18 schools in Sussex just this year. “Through the schools we are able to introduce over 7,000 kids to a sport with which, otherwise, they may not come in contact.” In addition to curriculum and online access, they also provide equipment to the schools.

Check out Firstteedelaware.org/to get your kiddos signed up and ready to tee off. “We always provide equipment to the kids. We charge $45 for a 4-week session, but if there are hardships, we even provide financial aid,” Scott explains. First Tee—Delaware offers opportunities for kids to play at beautiful local
golf courses.  

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