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It’s most golfing parent’s dream for their child to take up the sport – and it’s easy to see why. Golf will teach your children patience, perseverance, and discipline, while also giving them some exercise and fresh air away from TV screens and video games.
It all depends on one crucial factor though – do they share your passion? Encouraging your child to play golf is a tentative affair, but following my top 5 tips below they'll fall in love with the game like we have.
Take your children to the driving range or course to watch you hit some shots. Have a club the right size for them ready so if they want to have a go they can but don’t push them to hit balls. Children asking and wanting to have a go is far more likely to result in them enjoying it. Parents pushing children to have a go or making them try to hit usually leads to frustration on both sides. Golf should be fun for all involved.
Not only for the safety of your shins and ankles but for their benefit. Once you’ve shown them how to hold the club and stand, step back and let the child experiment with how to swing and hit it. Their motor skills will be in overdrive with trying to workout how to hit that small white ball. Them missing it lots of times is all part of their body figuring it out. There is no fast forward button for this stage, which is vital for their development. So as tempting as it may be ‘help them’ just let them find their way.
Golf is hard and it’s easy to tie up self worth with how well we play or hit a ball but effort and trying to get better is what’s really important for progress. Little ones will need lots of encouragement to keep having a go after a few misses. So praise their efforts, celebrate their good shots and ‘never mind, let’s try again’ the missed ones.
So your mini me is now hooked on the wonderful game, what next? Making sure they have equipment that is right for them is vital in supporting their progression. At this age it’s all about having clubs that are the right weight. Clubs that are too heavy will make it difficult to swing well and get the club consistently back to the ball. Team TaylorMade player Rory is passionate about encouraging the next generation and that’s why he helped create his own junior range that have been specifically designed with all this in mind.
Golf is a big game! Setting up mini challenges and games while out playing is a great way to keep golf fun and interesting. A few ideas are:
After the game talk about their best drives, putts, chips and shots from tough spots. The idea of this is to make the game just challenging enough to keep them striving so when they do succeed it feels like a great achievement.