Golf is an amazing game for an abundance of reasons. One of the big reasons, unlike many other sports, is its longevity. On a daily basis there are kids of 5 and under as well as the “more experienced” players of 85 and over, all playing the great game of golf at Leeds Golf Centre. Today, Joe Feather, our PGA Pro at Leeds Golf Centre, has a few handy tips on how to get your mini-me into the game of golf.
A question that’s often asked is “How old should my kid be before I get them into golf or golf tuition?” All kids are different and parents, you’ll know your kids better than anyone. But in my experience, once your kid can stand on their own two feet, there is nothing to stop them trying to hit a ball with a stick! And that is as complicated as it gets.
As coaches, with most kids under the age of 8 or 9, the technical elements of coaching are very minimal. There’s just a bit of time spent on grip and stance, and the general movement of the different shots. At this age more time is spent helping develop co-ordination, good socialisation, and just having some really good fun.
So if you’ve got a little one who you’d quite like to take up the game, or you think they might enjoy it, think about doing the following:
Let Them Watch You Do It
Kids love to copy everything us grown-ups do or say, I’m sure you’ve noticed! So if you’re heading to the range for a little practice, or going to practice your putting, invite them along. If they are unsure then the promise of an ice cream or a hot chocolate after will persuade them I’m sure! Let them watch you do it for 5 minutes, see if they start copying you or want a go. They probably will, and if so, let them have a go! Don’t worry about technique or anything to start with, just let them have a blast. They’ll be learning just watching you! We’ve got tons of kids clubs for you to use if you want to do this.
Have A Go At Putting
Kids love putting, which is great, as its the most important part of the game. It’s also the ‘simplest’ skill in golf if not the ‘easiest’. And it is a great way to introduce them to scoring, and the easiest way to play some really fun games. Make it easy, make it fun, give them a head start. You could maybe even let them win if your competitive nature will let you!
Get The On The Golf Course
Go out on the golf course for a couple of holes, let them watch you play, and then as you get next to the green, let them have a go at having a chip and a putt, don’t worry about numbers to start with, just praise them for getting it in the hole.
Try Out Some Equipment
Even some junior clubs are heavier than they should be, make sure that if you buy them a little club which they will use a lot, that it is short and light enough for them. There’s no harm in letting them have a play around with one of yours for a couple of swings, but not for a long period of time.
A closing thought, do you remember why you took up the game? Whoever introduced you to it, or at whatever age you started, the reason you kept at it was that you had fun. You all know how difficult and frustrating golf can be, so be sure the emphasis is fun, and that any games you play are easy enough for the little ones to get the feel good factor. And lots of high fives please!