getting kids into golf is a smart decision
You enjoy golf. You know it's a great way to relax, get outside and get some exercise with a little bit of healthy competition thrown in. You'd love it if your kids would unplug themselves from their devices, pick up a club and get out there to enjoy it with you. In this technology driven world it's becoming more and more difficult to get kids into golf and competing in outdoor activities.
So how do you get them started?
How do you get more potential young golfers off the couch and from their phones and televisions and outside getting active?
Here's 7 great ways you can get your kids or young children into golf and help grow the game of golf at the grass roots level.
1 - Make it fun
Kids can start playing in the backyard from as young as 2 or 3 with plastic toy clubs, bamboo poles or any long, straight object. Children are experiential learners — they learn most effectively by doing. So, it's best to let them just start hitting the ball and make as many mistakes as they like. Try not to be worried about the things they're doing wrong just yet.
If their stance is all wrong or they cross their hands on the club or they keep looking up to see where the ball is headed, that's fine.
Too much criticism will be a turn-off, so just help them get acclimated to the sport by pointing out what they are doing well.
You want them to stay enthusiastic until their teens, which is typically when youngsters begin to get more serious about golf.
Until then, let it simply be fun rather than focusing on technique.
2 - Tap into what interests them
If you really want to spark an interest and get your kids into golf and they are a little reluctant, you might need to get sneaky. If you have a budding mechanic on your hands, how about a joint project to build your own golf-cart?
After you build it, you can take them along for a round so they can try out the finished product.
You can easily get hold of all the parts you need on the internet, from engines to transmissions to fancy front seats and LED lights.
They might be one of the many golf kids in no time!
3 - Get the right clubs
Novices to any sport or skill need tools that are suited to their physical size and strength that they can use for practice without worrying too much about damaging expensive equipment. Rented or second-hand clubs would be perfect for newly-minted golfers. If you buy a top-of-the-line, shiny new set and they lose interest or grow a couple of feet, you’ll end up feeling upset and disappointed – not to mention regret the cost of the investment. Do yourself — and your child — a big favor and save the expensive shiny set for when they're older and more serious about playing.
It might be tempting to get a set of clubs your child will "grow into." This isn't a great idea, as using clubs that are the wrong length will make it harder to learn correct technique, and if the clubs are too heavy, they will be too tiring to use regularly.
To make sure you get the right size and weight for your child, ask them to hold a club in a few swing positions.
If they can't hold the club in these positions, it's likely the club is too long, too heavy or both.
Switch to a shorter and lighter set. Finding the right clubs for young golfers can really encourage them to stay engaged with the sport.
If you want them to get excited about the sport with new accessories, consider buying them some tees or balls. If they don't use them, you can.
This can be a very effective way of getting kids into golf.
4 - Make trips to the golf course stress-free
So how about a nice round on the golf course with your teens on a perfect, sunny Sunday morning? Bad idea. Unless you are happy to keep every other golf player in your neighborhood waiting while your enthusiastic but unskilled eleven-year-old takes her fifteenth putt on the first hole, you'd be better advised to save your trips to the course for quieter times, like mid-week evenings.
Teaching them the right etiquette is best approached with caution as well.
Of course, you want them to behave politely, but if you surround every trip with a long list of rules, it will quickly stop being fun.
Aim to build up their knowledge of the spoken and unspoken rules of the course gradually and gently.
5 - Accept the inevitable and take a golf-cart
You may enjoy the long walk around the course because the walk is a key element in making golf a physically beneficial activity. For kids, though, a golf cart is irresistible. If you bow to the inevitable and give in gracefully when they first ask, your kids will instantly promote you to favorite parent, and everything else will go much more smoothly.
You'll also be truly thankful you have a cart when they get tired and bored, and you can't face the long walk back to the clubhouse dragging them in tow.
This is a great way to get your kids to like golf and interested in the sport a lot quicker.
6 - Put success within reach
Kids are often highly competitive, and if they feel that they are doing well at golf, it will encourage them to keep on trying. If you require them to play with standard scoring and to tee-off from standard distances, chances are they are going to get discouraged.
There is no shame in letting them tee-off from the 150-yard marker, and there is nothing wrong with coming up with your own scoring system that rewards making a good effort, regardless of the outcome.
There is plenty of time for them to learn to cope with the heartbreak of a truly unlucky round when they are a little older.
This helps your kids like golf more and potentially grow the game of golfer quicker.
7 - Put your own game to one side
If you're looking forward to an enjoyable and relaxing round of golf, expect total silence when you take your swing and intend to try a few tricky drives while you are out on the green, don't take your children. The aim when you are introducing your kids to golf is for them to enjoy it. You are there as parent and teacher — not to enjoy a perfect round of golf. Enjoyment of the game is the quickest ways to get kids into golf and off their phones and computers.
If you play regularly and you are used to your links time being a chance to relax, de-stress and decompress, it can be very jarring when you first go out with your children.
Therefore, it's important to recognize this is a fundamentally different activity, even though it is happening in the familiar context of your beloved golf course.
Ironically, if you manage to relax and forget about your own game when you are out with your youngsters, you might find you end up playing some of your best golf!
Golf for kids should be fun so do your best to make it that way.
What to do next
Try out the methods above with your young ones and you might be surprised how quickly you get your kids into golf.
Don't rush them and make it a gradual process so they can learn and understand the game at their own pace.
First and foremost make it fun as it's the surest way to get your kids to like golf, but also want to keep playing it for years to come.
This is what will help young golfers develop and grown the game and produce potential champions in the years to come.
Who knows, you might have one in your house right now!
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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