photo credit: SearchNetMedia There is no absolute answer as to when to start a child playing the game of golf. If your child expresses a desire to swing a golf club (what child doesn't like to swing things) your first step is to accommodate him/her. There are many manufacturer's that make plastic clubs with over-sized clubfaces to make it easier for the adolescent to strike the ball.
The idea is to generate enthusiasm. Most of the time when junior sees his parents in the back yard practicing their swing, they will instinctively want to emulate the motion of the golf swing. It's also a good idea to take your kid golfing. Riding in the cart is a strong incentive to get involved in what “daddy” is doing; playing golf.
photo credit: makelessnoise At what age should a youngster begin playing golf? There are no age requirements, the time to start a child is when they show interest. Gentle encouragement is the key but force is never a good option.
Make sure that the club you choose is light weight. If the club is too heavy there will be a tendency to squeeze the club which creates a habit of holding the club too tightly. The club should be held very delicately. It's also a good idea to use a more lofted club. If a club with less loft is used it's much harder to get the ball airborne so use a lofted club.
Youngsters have natural swing ability, it's only when they get erroneous (although well meaning) advice that swing problems develop.
photo credit: TheTruthAbout… 1) Take the child to a course that has a pond or stream, bring a bag of old balls and a child-sized club. 2) Rent a golf cart and let your kid drive while seated in your lap. Head for a spot by the water. 3) Let the child make some practice swings, let them hit a few balls in the water. “There's something about hitting a ball in the water that makes a kid ecstatic.” 4) Praise every shot, if they dribble it, tell them it's a good swing. 5) After hitting five or ten balls, stop and take a break. 6) Go back to hitting balls, spread six on the ground and let them hit four. Pick up the last two and tell them you'll do it again another time. 7) Let them drive back to the clubhouse.
Teach your youngster some basic rules, etiquette and swing fundamentals. Once ready, take them to the course. Tips: 1) After you hit your drive, let your youngster tee off from the 150 yard marker. 2) Provide a special scorecard based on their ability and assign a customized score for each hole. 3) Play the course at off-peak hours and have your youngster “pick-up” if their score runs too high (per-hole). 4) Every shot should be teed up. 5) Use lofted clubs. 6) If faced with a hazard, let them play their shot from an easier location, whether in a trap or behind the water hazard.
photo credit: tienvijftien Summer golf camp is a great place to send your son or daughter if they exhibit a keen interest in the game. Golf camps can be pricey, however, more importantly, look for camps that offer training in certain areas.
Practice is the most important part of the game, therefor, it is essential to choose a camp that will emphasize the importance of good practice habits not only during camp but after the student returns home. Inquire whether drills and practice exercises are given to be used in a students own environment.
The golf camps should place special emphasis on the short game and putting. Short game practice can determine how well kids can compete and win. Make sure that you choose a camp that is appropriate for your child's skill lever.
photo credit: Heather Elias Many parents make the mistake of starting their son or daughter in Junior Tournaments too early. It is important to realize, that no matter what age your child is, playing in tournament golf before they are ready, can have detrimental effects.
Junior golf can be extremely competitive and many of the entries in Junior events are extremely good players. If your kid is a mediocre player, it might be a good idea to wait until they become more proficient at the game. Loosing on a regular basis just isn't good for anyone. Loosing consistently can easily create a “I just can't win” mentality.
Make sure that before your Junior golfer starts tournament play, their chance for success is very good. A winning attitude for them, will be much easier to develop.
photo credit: cyberuly Most kids are like sponges with a huge desire to learn things new and interesting. I have never known a young person that was not interested in hitting a ball with a club. Even if you don't play at present, you can learn the game along with your son or daughter.
Start-up equipment costs should be under $1000.00. Practice range fee's are extremely reasonable and this is where you should start. Make sure you spend enough time on the range before actual play begins. You can play miniature golf, then par 3 courses and eventually regulation courses.
Golf is a great opportunity to introduce your child to a lifelong sport and as an extra bonus, mold a wonderful relationship. What are you waiting for?
photo credit: Matthew_Miller Supplying a junior golfer with clubs that are too short, or too long is a major mistake. This occurs all too often because the parents do not want to spend a big buck to purchase a quality set of clubs and have their son or daughter fitted properly.
For a junior golfer, using improperly fitted clubs can create serious future problems. Youth is a time impressions are made. If a junior golfer has learned to play with clubs that aren't fitted properly it will be very tough to adjust to a set of clubs that do fit.
Young people grow by leaps and bounds and changing clubs every so often can be expensive, however, if you want to give your kid/s the greatest opportunity to play well, make sure they are using good clubs that fit.
photo credit: Liz Henry There are several successful programs that offer golf lessons to elementary students. True Golf Adventures of America (TGA) is one such company that provides weekly golf lessons in schools located primarily in the southwestern United States.
Each course lasts 6 weeks and includes basic beginner instructions. The course covers the basic fundamentals which include grip, aim, stance and posture. Real (not plastic) downsized clubs are used along with practice golf balls. The program also includes detailed putting instructions.
In the final two weeks of the carriculum, mini-courses are set up and the students learn etiquette and the order of play. Programs such as this are essential and one of the best ways to introduce young players to the game of golf.
photo credit: nakimusi Tiger Woods was introduced to the game of golf at the age of two. Does that mean that every two year old will have the same interest in swinging a golf club? Introducing a youngster to the game should be a natural progression, not a forced duty.
As a golf instructor in elementary schools, I have noticed that children have very pure and natural swings. Working with youngsters is much less challenging than you might think. Adults develop bad swing habits, whereas, children have no bad habits to work through.
As long as there is an interest, any age is the right age for a youngster to begin to swing a golf club. Keep in mind that although children are fast learners they require patience and guidance.