Important Steps to Developing a Young Golfer
When I think back to how I was introduced to the game and how much I’ve enjoyed playing it these past fifty-one years, I understand how young parents, mostly fathers, want to do all they can to make sure their son(s) or daughter(s) become talented and lifelong golfers. It’s such a great game that the entire family can enjoy together. With the key word being “enjoy.”
During my club professional career, I was approached by many young parents and grandparents wanting advice on what steps they needed to take to help ensure their children would develop the proper fundamentals and a love for the game.
This is what I would tell them and I’m happy to encourage our readers today with the same advice. First thing that parents need to do is make sure the kids are safe and are taught the importance of safety. Examples include not swinging around or towards other people. Secondly, find out what your child enjoys most about being at the course. You hope it’s grinding on the range, chipping, putting or playing the course. But, for most young golfers, it’s simple things like taking rides in the golf cart or even digging mounds in the practice bunker. Whatever it is, let them enjoy it. Over time, the youngsters will gravitate to more things related to playing the game like I mentioned. Lastly, and most importantly, when your son or daughter wants to leave the course and go home, go home. It doesn’t matter if you have only been hitting range balls for fifteen minutes, or you’re on the course just finishing the second hole. When your kids ask to leave, it’s time to go. They ask to leave because they’re no longer enjoying it.
To tell them they can’t quit in the middle of playing, or that they must hit all of the golf balls in the basket will not register to a five, six, or even nine-year-old. Why? Because they don’t know enough about how the game is played. As you probably already know, telling a kid they must do something they don’t want to do, does not result in them having fun.
If you follow these simple steps, you are almost guaranteed to give your child the best chance of becoming a life-long golfer. As you may have noticed, I didn’t mention how they can earn a college scholarship or tour card. We can talk about that another time.