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Whether you are a family of golfing enthusiasts, simply love watching the U.S Open, or even if you just think that this sport looks like a great game to learn to play, deciding to teach your kids to play golf is something you will never regret.
Not only will the skills they learn help them in other sports, but the mental drive and determination needed to be successful in this pastime will help them navigate their way through the journey from childhood to being an adult with a lot more ease.
Plus, you don’t even need to go to an expensive golf course to try out this all-inclusive sport if you don’t want to, you can start right in your own garden.
Keep reading to discover how you can encourage a passion for golfing in your child and the simplest ways to introduce them to this popular sport.
1. Don’t be too serious
If you or your partner are already into golf and take the game very seriously, try not to let this influence your child as they start to learn about the sport. This is especially true with younger children who will simply want to explore the sport and have fun.
Instead, let them follow you around the golf course, or even just in your back garden with a few putters and golf balls, and let them naturally ask questions and try out hitting the ball.
2. Let them practice
If you are a member of a golf club and would like to take your child with you to sink a few putts, make sure that you pick the right time of day. The last thing your child will want is the pressure of lots of big groups around when they are trying to learn a new skill.
Therefore, it is advisable that you go later on in the evening or another time that you know is fairly quiet.
Try not to get frustrated and just let your child practice and take the game at their own pace.
3. Make learning fun
As with all new activities, you need to make the process fun so that it doesn’t feel like a chore or something they are being forced to do.
Make sure that you use lots of positive praise and words of encouragement, and if your child wants to continuously hit their balls into a water hazard then let them. It won’t do any harm and may encourage a love for the sport that will stay with them for years to come.
4. Ensure they have the right golf clubs
You may love your powerful driving irons and putters, but letting your child simply borrow your golf club is not a good idea. In the same way that you wouldn’t lend your child your running shoes or let them wear your boxing gloves, your child will need their own set of golf clubs if they are serious about wanting to learn to play the sport.
When your child is old enough, perhaps in their teenage years and considering golf as a professional career path, finding their own driving iron that suits their height is necessary. Take the stress away by customising their clubs. They offer a range of different sizes from standard to minus and plus. Remember, if you pick a club that is too long for your child, they will struggle to swing properly. You also need to pay close attention to the weight of the clubs you choose because if they are too heavy, your child won’t be able to get the ball to fly at the right trajectory.
5. Do not use confusing golf jargon
Even if you are fluent in all the phrases used by professional golfers across the globe, your child most definitely will not be. Learning a completely new skill is difficult enough without having to master a new language too!
Instead, use simple and plain phrases that they will understand and remember. It is also recommended that when trying to teach them, you bend down to their level and talk to them face to face. Standing upright and shouting instructions from a distance can be intimating and not conducive to learning.
6. Don’t be over eager to enrol them in lessons
If you are keen for your child to be the new Tiger Woods, then it can be tempting to enrol them in golf lessons as soon as possible. However, this can be the worst decision you make if your child is not ready for a structured learning experience. As a rule, children under 5 are too young to gain any benefit from golfing lessons and are better off simply being exposed to the sport with you.
Although, just because your child is older, this does not mean they are automatically ready for lessons either. Before they learn to master the skill of putting, they need to first develop an interest and love of the game; otherwise, there is little point in continuing to try to teach them.
7. Explain the importance of decorum
However young your child is, it is never too early to explain to them about the importance of etiquette on the golf course and how you must respect the other golfers and the course itself.
You do not need to bombard them with rules and regulations, especially not if they are very young, but a simple explanation about taking turns and not distracting other players is a must.