Everyone already knows who the next Arnold, Jack or Tiger is. It’s some young person being introduced to the game by an adult family member, coach or volunteer. Let’s face it … kids just can’t pick up golf aroud the playground and every kid that is fortunate enough to be exposed to golf is not going to be the next GOAT – or even make the PGA Tour, for that matter. Teaching young people the game a golf has value well beyond making a team or getting a scholarship. Introducing a child to golf has many outstanding benefits which include:
- It is a sport they can enjoy for many years, perhaps the rest of their life.
- It will provide you with an opportunity as a parent, or grandparent, to spend countless hours of quality time with your child.
- Even if they never play competitively, at some point in their adult life your child will probably benefit from knowing how to play golf. Regardless of what career they choose opportunities to play some type of “customer golf” will likely arise. If they are unable to participate, it will not be helpful to their career.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to getting a child started in golf. Children of different ages and athletic abilities will require different strategies. In addition, not everyone has the same resources regarding time and money. Having said that, I would like to offer general advice on getting your child started.
- Give your child the opportunity to explore golf, but do not push if there is no interest at all on their part.
- Particularly for children ages 6 and under, you can gauge their interest with minimal investment. I would recommend going to www.uskidsgolf.com and buying an entry level training club appropriate for your child’s height. This is a lightweight club with an oversized head to make contact with the ball easier. It also has a molded training grip and comes with limited flight golf balls that can be used in the yard. For an investment of about $50 you can get your young child off to a positive start and determine if further involvement in the game is warranted.
- Do not over coach younger children. Focus on letting them have fun.
- For children who show a keen interest, invest in proper equipment as your budget will allow. Perhaps the biggest mistake made in this area is having kids play with adult clubs, even if they have been cut down to appropriate lengths. If your child is using clubs that are too long and/or too heavy for them, learning proper swing mechanics will be compromised.
Once again, www.uskidsgolf.com can be an excellent resource. They have lightweight clubs in a wide variety of lengths, fitted based on height, which will give your child an excellent chance to learn good mechanics from the outset.
Unless you are an accomplished player knowledgeable about golf, I highly recommend seeking a qualified PGA or LPGA Professional to guide your child’s development. Here at Bent Brook, we offer individual instruction for junior golfers in addition to our outstanding PGA Junior League Golf Program for both boys and girls ages 9-13.
If you would like more information or would like to ask specific questions about junior golf, please contact me at 205-424-2368 or via email at email@example.com.
Mickey Smith, PGA