Adults who play golf know just how fun and frustrating the game can be. Whether you’re a veteran golfer or someone just learning the links, golf can be challenging.
But as exacting as the game can be, it also can be just as rewarding, even for kids. Children who embrace the game of golf will learn a host of lessons they can apply in all facets of life. A humbling game even for professional golfers, golf can teach kids lessons in humility and the value of persistence even when things aren’t going your way.
Golf is also a great way for parents to get kids off the couch and outdoors for some fun in the sun. Instead of spending summer afternoons in front of the television, kids who play golf are out patrolling pristine golf courses while getting some cardiovascular exercise along the way. Golf can also strengthen a child’s hand-eye coordination, which can help them in other activities, including many different sports.
Though many people do not begin playing golf until they’ve reached adulthood, it’s never too early for boys and girls to start learning the game of golf. Parents of preschoolers can start their kids off with a toddler play set. Though it’s just a toy, a play set can help lay a solid foundation for future golfers. Kids who have watched Mom and Dad play golf or practice their swing can develop their own swings on their play set.
As kids approach school age, don’t overlook the nearby putt-putt or miniature golf range as a valuable teaching tool. Miniature golf clubs are small enough for many children to use comfortably, and kids can use miniature golf courses as a place to put any lessons or advice on putting to good use. What’s more, a miniature golf course is more than just golf, with creative courses and other fun activities, so kids won’t feel overwhelmed with golf.
When kids move on from preschool to elementary school, some might want to tag along with Mom or Dad to the driving range. You should try to avoid overwhelming kids with too much instruction or information. Instead, keep things as simple as possible, teaching them the basic swing and encouraging them no matter how quickly they adapt.
As kids enter middle school and approach high school, those who are enjoying the game of golf can take advantage of the driving range if they haven’t already begun to. A driving range typically has markers that indicate the distance of a regular hole, regardless of which tee you will play from on an actual golf course. Kids can aim for holes at shorter distances to learn how far their drives are going. You can then adjust the lessons you teach your children based on how far youngsters can drive the ball.
As a child gets closer to high school, you might want to buy the child his or her own set of clubs. Look for inexpensive clubs (oftentimes, thrift stores or other secondhand retailers have clubs for sale) because growing children will eventually grow out of their first set of clubs. When your child finds a set of clubs that suits him or her, teach the proper way to swing and consider signing up your son or daughter for lessons. Those first few lessons can prove invaluable, turning a pastime into a passion kids will carry with them throughout their lives.