Starting kids in the game of golf early
"I never played a round when I didn't learn something new about the game." - Ben Hogan. There's probably not a golfer around who wouldn't agree with the great Ben Hogan. The benefits of golf for children is enormous. Golf is a game of constant learning, practicing, honing and humbling. And the learning aspect of it translates well beyond the fairways.
Starting your children with golf may be one of the best things you can do for them. There's so much children can learn from the game on a physical, social and emotional level and so many benefits they can gain from spending time on the green.
These benefits can have powerful and long lasting effects on your child's development right through to adult years.
Physical benefit of golf for kids
Some of the great benefits of golf for children is the physical benefit they'll get. This can have a great impact on their fitness and well being. Here are 4 great physical benefits they'll receive from golf.
Golf is a low-intensity workout:
When you walk a course and carry your bag, you are participating in a low-intensity workout. Children can learn to carry a small bag with several clubs on a 9-hole par-3 course without overtaxing their small bodies. Additionally, they will build muscle, get fresh air and spend time away from video games and the television.
Golf can promote other fitness activities:
As children get older, they can add weightlifting and strength training to their physical activity, which will help their game. Yoga and Pilates can help develop the core strength they need to have stability when driving off the tee box. Swimming and running can build endurance — making 18 holes much easier to play.
Golf teaches proper nutrition:
When children are young, parents have a lot of control over their diets, making sure they consume well-balanced meals. As they get older, it becomes more difficult to watch what they are eating all the time. But if your child is involved with golf, he will quickly learn that a bowl of sugary cereal might not be enough fuel to get through 18 holes with the results they desire. A well-balanced diet becomes important for zeroing in on par, and while it may come about via some trial and error, they will learn what works for them.
Golf is a non-contact sport:
Unlike other sports, where children may incur concussions or other serious injuries, golf does not pose those risks. It is not to say injury won't occur, but it won't come from your child being tackled by another child in a rough and tumble sport. Like all sports it's important your child stretches and looks after their body. Golf is no different and their bodies need to be looked after.
Social benefit of kids playing golf
Golf has many benefits for children and a great one is the social benefit they receive. This can help development and build strong social skills they can bring through to adulthood. Teaching kids to play golf enhances these social skills whilst having fun along the way.
Here's 3 benefits of golf for children from the social aspect of the game.
Golf is played alone, with partners or in groups:
Yes, golf offers it all on a social level. Your introvert can enjoy a round of golf solo — which may be important for their social well-being. Golf can also be enjoyed with friends or family, making it a fun way to build relationships and create memories.
Golf can be played on a team:
For your child who wants to play for his high school, he’ll be able to compete both as an individual and on a team, which really is the best of both worlds. They'll learn the competitive nature of solo play but also develop true team spirit by supporting all members of his team as they try to best at other schools.
Golf can create lifelong friendships:
When you talk to other golfers, you will often hear their golfing partner or foursome has been together for years. Golf often brings people together and creates solid friendships. Maybe it's because golf is a sport that affords the opportunity to carry on a meaningful conversation as you play. Maybe it's the empathy you have for your fellow players when they hit a bad shot or the respect you gain for them when they have a great round. Whatever the reason, golf is a sport that can create friendships.
A lifetime last benefit for children to play golf is the mental benefits they will get from it. Golf teaches not only hand eye co-ordination for sports but many other things that benefit children for years to come.
Golf teaches discipline:
Golf has a lot of rules, and children need to learn how to follow them. While you may not need to teach them all 34 rules and then the sub-rules and the sub-sub-rules, you can slowly introduce the rules of the game to your children. This skill will translate well into many areas of life, even when you want them to clean up their room.
Golf teaches emotional control:
There's nothing like a bad shot or a bad round to help someone learn to keep their emotions in check, which is a great skill for your child to learn. This is one lesson that may take some time as things play out for a hole or three , but they can’t let their emotions get the best of them. But as you help them learn to bounce back from a bad shot, they will learn how to manage their emotional responses to difficulties.
Golf is a game for developing business skills:
Golf also teaches valuable skills that translate into the business world. Strategy, planning and decision-making are all skills that will serve your children well in the great big world. Many business deals get done during a round of golf as it's a great environment for collaborating. Getting your kids into golf can enhance these skills on a smaller scale and develop them as they get older.
Golf teaches responsibility:
Guess what? Tee times exist for a reason, and if you miss yours, you don't play. That bad shot you hit was all you, not something you can blame on someone else. You are responsible for yourself when it comes to the game of golf, and that is an important thing for kids to learn.
watch the video below that demonstrates the best way to teach golf to young kids so they flourish in the game:
Golf teaches quiet:
In a world that can seem so loud at times — with ubiquitous radios, televisions, video games, phones — golf can teach your child how to enjoy the quiet. You learn to be quiet for your playing partners as they take their shots, and you learn to expect quiet while you contemplate your own. For a talkative child, this can be a difficult skill (and maybe for you as a parent). For a child who enjoys the quiet, this may be one of the things they love about golf.
Golf teaches integrity:
The saying, "Integrity is doing what's right when nobody is watching," is a great way to introduce the concept to your kids. And golf just naturally lends itself to demonstrating this axiom. Yes, it would be easy for a child to move his ball to have a better position or shave a stroke or two off a hole, but this won't last long. Whether your youth golfer tries to take these short-cuts — or perhaps witnesses someone else being less than honest — they will learn how good it feels to act with integrity.
What to do with your child now
Now is the time to get your child out on the driving range. Or take your little one for a ride in a golf cart on the course or to play a round of mini golf.
The game of golf can teach lessons that will last them a lifetime — and there's no time like the present to get started.
The benefits of golf for children are endless and can positive long lasting effects on their future.
This was a guest post written by Bobo, who is a New Yorker at heart by has found his forever home in the south. He loves golf, writing and a good plate of barbecue.
Bobo can be reached here DIY Golf Cart.
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