There is really only one good way to get your child introduced to the game of golf and junior golf.
Make sure they have fun from the beginning and you will have the best chance to keep them wanting to return to the golf course.
And this advice not only comes from our Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association junior golf experts and golf instructors, but also from World Golf Hall of Fame member Johnny Miller.
“When you take your young kids to the golf course, remember that they don’t need or want complicated instruction, lecturing or advice,” Miller told Golf Digest. “What they need and yearn for is unadulterated praise. When your 7-year-old hits a good shot, say ‘Great shot!’ When he (or she) hits a bad shot, exclaim, ‘Great swing!’ I used to love to take my kids to the course late in the day when no one was around. We’d find a water hazard and purposely hit balls into the water. Young children for some reason are enthralled by watching the splash, and it guarantees they’ll have a good time — and they’ll beg you to take them again.”
So, the secret potion to introducing kids to this great game and keep them involved is a three-letter word: f-u-n.
That’s it. That’s the main job in the early stages for any parent or child looking to get into playing golf or junior golf.
Some of the best ways to do that are taking a young child to the driving range or letting them ride in the cart during an afternoon round of golf like Miller did. But in these situations, hitting the ball or trying to implement the fundamentals shouldn’t be the main focus, unless your child is totally interested in that.
After some initial fun and games, and your child shows some more interest in really playing golf and learning, then you can start introducing more to your trips to the course or practice range.
“Golf is so much fun for you, so make it fun for kids,” said Miller. “I know you parents out there are working hard, often mom and dad, so it’s tough to devote the time to teach your kids to play. But get out there and play nine holes with them when you can. Better yet, all you grandparents, pick up the grandkids after school and take them to play nine holes with you. It is a cool way to connect with your grandkids and to share your love for golf. You can play nine holes, then chip and putt, get some ice cream and have a great afternoon. Next thing you know, they will want to play nine holes again with you and then they will turn into golfers.”
Now, for sure, some instruction is needed near the start of any junior golf journey. Once that is needed, the SNJGA Learn to Play Golf series or other intro golf clinics can help kids get some instruction in a fun setting.
But, let them play a bit before you try and get too serious. It will keep them wanting more and everyone enjoying the game.
Here is more info on the Learn to Play Golf series: Golf Classes for Kids