First Tee of WNY 1-on-1 Coaching Program

This program has been designed by popular demand from parents who have participants in our Life Skills Experience.

1-on-1 Coaching provides the opportunity for participants to work 1-on-1 with a coach on the technical aspects of the golf swing. Each Session is 45 minutes in length and coaches will work with students that are interested in taking their game to another level.

Coaching will be offered at the Paddock Golf Dome during the Winter. During the warmer months, coaching will be provided at additional locations to be announced.

Lesson Details:

  • 45 Minutes in Length
  • Balls must be Purchased by Participant/Parent
  • $40 for Each Session
  • $200 for a Package of 5 Sessions
  • Check or Credit Cards Accepted

Coaches in the program

Erich Spitz – Past Participant, First Tee Level II COACH, NCAA Division II Player

Erich has been involved with the First Tee for over a decade, both as a participant and now having spent the last four years as a Lead Coach for the First Tee of Western NY.

Erich has achieved both Level I and Level II coaching certifications, while actively pursuing his Level III certification. Erich has played competitively at a high level for 8 years, with the final 4 of those coming at the Division II collegiate level.

Coaching Philosophy in Erich’s words – My coaching philosophy is simple, I believe that we as coaches should never try to change what a student does naturally, only to try to improve upon it. Every student has their own natural abilities and skills, and I try to build my instruction around what a student already does well, and help them to refine it. There are many coaches that try to have every one of their students swing a specific way. I however believe that every student needs to be taught to improve upon what they already do naturally, not swing the way a coach wants.


Chris spent 3 years with the Golf Academy of Hawaii, and 2 years as the Junior Golf Director at The Fox Valley Club. Chris is currently a PGA Level 2 Apprentice. Chris has spent the majority of his teaching career in the Junior Golf field.

Chris has extensive experience with disabled veteran golf programs, family golf, and adaptive golf programs. Chris believes golf is one of the only sports that can be played for a lifetime, and everyone should have the opportunity and ability to enjoy it.

Coaching Philosophy in Chris’s words – I strongly believe that everyone, regardless of their age or physical ability, is capable of developing a golf swing that can be replicated consistently. My philosophy and methods for teaching stem from instructors like Harvey Penick, Jim McClean, Mo Radke, George Gankas, and the mental approaches of Bob Rotella and Jon Radke. Understanding how physics and biomechanics create certain outcomes in golf is the foundation to not only be confident, but successful as well.

TIM KARCHES – FIRST TEE RECOGNIZED COACH, Certified First Tee PLAYer Coach Trainer, Assistant Golf Coach Iroquois Central School

Tim serves as the Program Director for First Tee of Western NY and is instrumental in the development, implementation, and refinement of the programs delivered to students each year. Tim has been involved with the First Tee of Western New York for over a decade. In that time, he has worked with hundreds of participants to help them become good golfers and even better people. Tim is a NYS Certified K-6 Elementary Teacher and teaches 5th grade in the Holland Central School District where he has been employed for 19 years.

Tim also has a Bachelor of Science Elementary Education and a Masters of Science Education. Tim lives in Marilla, New York with his wife and three children who are all active First Tee participants.

Tim’s passion is golf! He enjoys helping his students improve as golfers and people. He receives as much joy helping a new player hit their first solid shot as helping a more seasoned player breaking par and winning tournaments. As a coach Tim understands, appreciates, and takes pride in creating programs that take players to the next level and help them reach their goals.

Coaching Philosophy in Tim’s words – I am a student of the game that continually is researching, collaborating, and learning to improve my understanding, teaching and coaching of the game of golf.  To help motivate and give my students the best possible learning I believe in feedback devices and the use of golf technology. It is important that students are able to see and feel their actual swings. Every student is able to succeed and become the golfer they desire to be when they have the correct information, a goal-based plan for improvement, and are given positive accurate feedback.

The game of golf is special because the journey to achieve goals and improvement can be a lifelong pursuit. In the pursuit of success when we have strong fundamentals with an understating of the concepts of the golf swing, paired with the reality of our own movements, we can begin to make changes in our own patterns and find a repeatable effective golf swing. The journey to better golf should be thought-provoking, challenging, rewarding, and fun.