Perhaps you know him from First Tee – Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky as Coach Ben, or maybe you recognize him from his online coaching series, Birdies with Ben.
Birdies with Ben is a video series hosted by Ben Walker, a staff member and alumnus at First Tee – Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky. In the educational videos the chapter posts to its social media pages, Ben gives advice on life and the game of golf.
By integrating the First Tee curriculum, Ben found an outlet to grow the game with increasing social media engagement from kids, teens
, and young adults.
“As kids and teens are joining social media, I wanted to meet the kids where they are,” said Ben. “I felt it was space where we could add First Tee content.”
Coach Ben joined his local chapter as a participant in 2008 and worked his way through the program until he graduated from First Tee as an Ace student (the highest certification a participant can achieve within the First Tee network).
“You come into the program thinking you are going to learn about golf, but you learn so much more about life skills,” said Ben. “I was once very shy, and First Tee helped get me out of my bubble. I felt safe and empowered to be myself and meet other people.”
He attended Northern Kentucky University, where he was granted an internship to work with the chapter while earning his degree in sports business and event management.
This opened the door for him as a full-time staff member upon college graduation in 2020.
Now that Ben is a proud staff member of First Tee – Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky, he cites how rewarding it is for him to reciprocate First Tee’s positive impact on the next generation.
“First Tee is home. The relationships I’ve built in this program and skills I’ve taken with me have evolved into more than I could’ve ever imagined. I have a genuine love for First Tee and for the game of golf.”
To see Coach Ben’s Birdies with Ben videos, check them out here!