Golf is a game of flair and patience, with subtle elements of competitiveness, and just as important to succeed in. But how do we get our kids into golf and just as lured to the game as the professionals who take to the green every day?
For many parents, the thought of getting their children out of the house during school holidays and even the weekends can be a ball-ache, and a chore, and so laziness can seep in very quickly. Getting your kids out of the house is one thing, but playing a sport, they know nothing about is another. and the idea of golf may sound like a nightmare waiting to happen, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the introduction of crazy golf courses scattered around the country, and even foot golf, a combination of the nations most loved sport – football, and golf, a growing sport in popularity with the younger generation, there are ways to get your kids introduced to a game of golf without setting off those detested crocodile tears.
And what’s more over the last decade, the junior golfing industry has become a big business thanks to crazy golf adventures offering kids of all ages a chance to put the ball in the green in a fun and informative way. So here are a few tips to get your kids into golf.
Photo credit: Olimpik/Shutterstock
Make it a short game
If you don’t have a golf course near you catered to children, there is no reason you can’t use the adult course. So what if it’s an 18-hole course? If your children are ready after 9 holes to finish the game, then that’s great. The key to keeping your children entertained is to keep the game short. There’s nothing worse than dragging your children round the course for a five-hour stint, attempting to hit the balls into every hole.
Equip them with the right equipment
Too long, too stiff and too heavy are some of the common problems with clubs for children. There are a lot of variations of what you can use on the golf course suitable for your needs and children are no different. The problem arises when a small child uses a long and heavy club, and swings on an arc that is too flat, and so the swing bottom out behind the ball. You must make sure before starting a game that your child has the right club relative to their height and stamina, so they can maximise their swing to the best of their ability. If you’re unsure, visit your nearest golfing retailer and ask a member of staff in person what they would recommend for your child to use. Bearing in mind, as your child grows, you will need to also change their clubs.
Give them time to perfect their swing
The key to anything in life is practice. Children are notoriously better at gripping a sport from a young age, as their attention to detail and perfection is greater, as they learn the ropes. So, when you introduce your child to golf, make sure to give them enough time to practice, perhaps taking them later in the evening or at a time when it’s not crowded. The last thing you want it to play and hold up groups behind you.
Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock
Keep it fun and criticism low
As serious and prestigious golf may be to an adult, to a child, it’s just another sport to grasp. Remember your child doesn’t want it to be complicated, otherwise they will lose interest very quickly and it will be even more difficult to get them back into it once the spark is gone. Even if your child hits an ‘okay’ shot, shout back at them ‘great shot’, or ‘great swing’, to encourage a continuation of play. The more you play as a parent with your children, the more honest you can be with their play. Remember they want you to be fun parents, rather than a teacher, so unless they are the next Tiger Woods, ease off the criticism.
Speak in their language
Children need to comprehend and idea before they can attempt it. As a parent or adult guiding a child around the course, you must learn to be patient as you explain to them in childlike terms how to play a game. Instead of using complicated terminology, which even though accurate to the game of golf, switch it up for something they would understand, relative to their age.
Feature image credit: Notar/YES/Shutterstock