So, you think your little guy might be the next Tiger Woods? If you think your child has a propensity for golf, or if you have a love for the game that you want to share, how can you best teach your youngster the game? How can you tell that they are ready to learn? What age is best to start a child on learning golf if you want to develop a quality player?
Golf, a detailed and complex sport, can be tough to teach to kids. For this reason, get them started early and ensure that you build a firm foundation in their game play so that they learn to be confident in the sport and in their own abilities. This type of learned confidence can help them embrace the complexities of the game as a whole and will turn them into golfers that are ready to learn.
Once a child is walking well independently and able to hold a child-sized golf club, he or she is probably ready for the first introduction to the sport. This can happen when the child is as young as two or three years old. Preschool children will not be ready to play golf as a game, but they can be given small putters and practice swinging the club correctly.
Children at this age learn almost everything through imitation. The best way to teach them proper swinging and putting techniques is to demonstrate, and then have them imitate the motions. But use caution that you do not make this tedious for the child. These imitation sessions should be short and fun. Try having the child hit a small balloon. Not only will this be fun, but the child will also have success in hitting the balloon, which will keep the frustration at bay. To make it even more fun, try filling the balloons with water for added resistance! This is a great summer time activity for you and for your child!
Once the child has entered school and has a good handle on the swinging and putting techniques learned through observation, it is time to start teaching the game of golf. School aged children are accustomed to verbal instruction and can listen to explanations about the game better than their preschool counterparts. You need to keep in mind, however, that they are still children! They will thrive on encouragement, and all teaching sessions should be kept upbeat!
Start by taking your child to the driving range. Show your son or daughter how to hit the ball correctly, aiming for distance. The driving range is a good place to start since there is not a specific target they must reach, so the child is less likely to get frustrated. After the child demonstrates aptitude on the driving range, you can head to the course. By this point you should be able to tell whether or not your child is going to share your love for the game of golf.
Parents need to remember that no matter how hard they try, not all children have the same likes and dislikes that their parents have. If you have introduced your child to the game of golf, and he or she does not enjoy it, try not to push them. By pushing, you might find that you drive your child away from the game. All you can do is give them the experience at an early age, and they must come to a conclusion about the game on their own.