Sharing the game of golf with your kids is a great way to teach them honesty, integrity, and perseverance. And since golf has never been more popular, it’s a great time to stick a club in your child’s hand and let them experience the game.
Teaching golf to kids is a difficult (but not impossible) task, so you’ll need to ensure your child is having fun on the course. This will encourage them to work harder and stick with the game. Try some of these ideas and drills to get (and keep) you child interested in golf.
Kids are normally entirely oblivious of their surroundings. After all, they usually have an adult to look out for them to make sure nothing bad happens. The first thing to teach your child regarding golf is to be aware of their surroundings. Golf clubs are extremely dangerous. Teach your child to steer clear of anyone who’s setting up for a shot, and make sure they aren’t going ahead of people who still need to shoot behind them. Teaching general safety rules for the golf course is pretty boring, but it’s something they’ll need to learn in order to protect themselves.
The short game is a great (and fun) way to start teaching a child to golf. Not only does it allow them to sink a few shots, it’s also a great setup for learning the full swing.
Once your child has a grasp on putting, try this drill: setup several tees three feet from the hole and have your child putt from each tee. As they improve, move the tees to different lengths and spots on the green. For added fun, use a timer to see who can sink all the balls the fastest.
When chipping, set a golf club, water bottle, hat, or other obstacle between your child and the green. This will teach them to chip around obstacles (while they’re having fun hitting your stuff).
Club heads can be heavy for kids to hold, especially in the middle of their backswing. Have your child hold their driver with their right hand if they’re right-handed, or left hand if they’re left-handed. With their arm fully extended, have them put their other hand flat on their arm just above their elbow and swing back to a 90 degree angle. This creates muscle memory and forces the child to keep their arm at the correct angle.
Reinforce the Positive
Don’t ever say “no” or “don’t”. If a child is doing something wrong, simply remind them of the proper way and it will come in time.
Practice, practice, practice
Take your child to the range often. Hit buckets of balls, see who can hit the ball closest to the pin and offer a reward for the winner.
Don’t force it
If your child isn’t in the mood when you’re ready to go play golf, don’t force them to play with you. Let them ride in the cart and read a book or watch a movie on your iPad (with headphones, of course). Forcing a child to play when he or she doesn’t want to is the quickest way to deter them from wanting to play.
Teaching golf to a child takes a little planning and creativity, but if you’re willing to do some fun things to keep the kids excited, you’ll instill a lifelong love of the game.