Golf is one of the great passions of your life. The game has brought you focus and honor, skill and pride. It’s how you’ve begun and maintained lifelong friendships. It only stands to reason that you want to share this special experience with another of the best parts of your life — your child. Whether you have high hopes and grand dreams of PGA glory for your little one, or you simply want to pass along to your child the gifts that golf has given you, it can be hard to know where to start. Not to worry. Here are some great steps to follow if you want to introduce jr. to the sport.
- One at a Time
Don’t bring your kid to the range thinking you’re going to get some practice in as well. You’ll end up babysitting and your kid will end up bored. The last thing you want is to accidentally teach them to associate going golfing with you getting frustrated with them, or they’ll never want to come back. Instead, make it a fun, laid back day that’s all about spending time with your son or daughter. They’ll love being the focus of your attention and you might just begin a wonderful tradition of hitting the green together for quality time that will last a lifetime.
- Start Small
Your first lesson shouldn’t be about the rules of the game, or how to master the perfect swing. Your first lesson should be very simple: golf is fun! If, at the end of the day, your child wants to come back again, congratulations! You’ve succeeded at your one and only goal for their first lesson. That means day one might just be a day at the driving range (or an empty field somewhere) swinging away with balls and grass flying in every direction. Every kid loves whacking things with sticks, after all. It might even be a day at the mini golf course, and that’s okay too.
- Green Players on the Green
When you do go to the golf course for the first time, pick a time when there won’t be many other people on the field. Many golf courses have specific times designated for junior players, so do a little bit of background research. Pick a course that won’t be too overwhelming, like your local par-3 or a public course without any length. You can even use those 150 yard marker poles in middle of the fairway as your holes. Your kid won’t know the difference, and they’ll have a much better time.
- Two’s Company
Try to get one of their friends involved as well. One of the best things about the game, after all, can be the company. If you can bring a friend and make golf a go-to activity for those two, your child will have a lot more fun and be more likely to stick with it.
Most importantly, have a good time! Remember what you love about the game in the first place? It’s not the trophies or the college scholarships. It’s the sportsmanship and the chance to get outside with your buddies and have a great time. That’s what you need to show your kid, and those are the memories that will bring them back again and again.
For more advice straight from the mouth of pro golfer Dave Castleberry, click here.