Ways to introduce golf to young children

Spring is in blossom and summer’s just around the corner, so what better time to start thinking about introducing your little one to a new sport?

Children today are often seen participating in more ‘popular’ sports, such as rugby and football, but why not consider opting for something different, like golf? Not only does it ensure your child is getting some vital physical activity, it is a sport known to be less prone to injury in comparison to contact sports.

However, taking your kids to a golf course straight away can be incredibly daunting for them; particularly when they are surrounded by a number of highly skilled amateurs and professionals showing off their skills, whilst often donned inexpensive golf clothing range attire. Understandably, this may put off your child rather than encourage them – reaching a professional level is no easy feat and can’t be replicated easily, which many children want to do straight away.

As a result, it is worth thinking of trying out a range of games to introduce the sport to your child and get them familiar with the various aspects of the game instead, such as how to hit the ball correctly and accurately. By playing games, it makes the game more appealing, which can help capture their interest easily, whilst simultaneously helping your child to develop the key skills needed for upgrading to the golf course, in the comfort of your own home or even local park.

4 ways to introduce golf to young children

Aiming

This is a great game for accuracy and patience that can be played by all the family. Layout hula-hoops of varying sizes (you can do this by cutting the hoops and re-taping them together) and place them at various distances. For example, set up a ‘base’ location where your child will hit the golf balls from, and lay the assortment of differently shaped hoops close, mid-distance and further away to the right and left.

The object of the game is to hit the ball into the different hoops to win points. For instance, small hoops are worth 10 points, medium-sized hoops are worth 5 points and large 3 points. Take it in turns to take a shot, and the winner is the player with the most points at the end.

Back and forth

Put your children into teams of two and begin the game with each team member standing 1 foot apart from each other. The first team member putts the ball to the other team member, but it must hit the other team member’s putter. Then the second team member returns the putt to the first player, and if the ball misses the putter it has to be played again.

The aim of the game is to help develop hand-eye coordination by putting back and forth. Each time the ball hits their partner’s putter, the team must take a small step apart. The winner is the team who gets the furthest apart within a specific time limit, such as 10 or 15 minutes.

Accuracy

Make a line, as long as you like, using either some tape or chalk either on a straight piece of land or even up or downhill for add a degree of difficulty. Ask your child to putt the ball along the line, as close to it as possible.

The aim of the game is to increase your child’s accuracy when putting the ball. The winner is the person who can putt their ball as close to the line for as long as possible, to make it more accurate.

Golf ‘relay’

The aim of this game is to improve hand-eye coordination and accuracy and requires very little resources. Place several marks around the garden using cones, or objects that can act as a marker. Start by standing at one cone and encourage your child try to putt their ball through your legs.

Once your child does this successfully, they must move to the next marker and wait for the next player to putt through their legs. Keep putting and switching places at each marker until you’ve accomplished all of them.

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