5 tips to get your kids interested in golf, according to a GOLF Top 100 Teacher
Golf is a beautiful game for many reasons, but one of the most notable is that it can be enjoyed your entire life. From the time you are old enough to stand and hold a club until you are collecting social security benefits, golf is a constant.
That longevity of the game is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have a game you can get your kids started in early and one they will play for the rest of their lives, but you can run the risk of burning them out if you push them too hard. It’s a balancing act, and the answer is different for every parent and child.
However, there are some steps you can take in order to introduce your child to the game in a fun way that is conducive to their interest in the game. In a recent article from Pinehurst Golf Academy, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Eric Alpenfels — the director of the academy — shared some tips on how best to develop your kid’s interest in the game.
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Read below for five tips from the article or click here to read the full piece.
1. Focus on the fundamentals
Fundamentals are important at every level of the game, but if you can nail them down early, the road to improvement will be much easier. Posture, grip and alignment are the foundation for any good swing, so try to get into good habits with that trio.
“I had an example recently when a teenager came with a very strong grip,” Alpenfels said. “Well, when he was 8-9-10, he could play with it because he didn’t swing very fast, but as he’s gotten bigger and stronger, that grip had to be changed because there was no way he could hit it straight with that grip. And now he’s going through the heartache.”
2. Don’t strive for perfection
While the fundamentals are important, there is no reason to make a fuss over getting it just right. If you can get them into the position somewhat close to where they need to be, that’s good enough. Fine-tuning can come down the road.
“Just keep it in the ballpark with a good grip, posture and alignment,” Alpenfels said. “Keep it relatively close to neutral. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”
3. Let them play other sports
Getting your child interested in golf is well and good, but don’t make them focus all of their energy on chasing the little white ball. Allow them to pursue other sports, too. The skills they pick up on the basketball court or football field will help them when it comes to the golf swing.
“You need to have balance,” Alpenfels said.
4. Short game is key
Even if your kid doesn’t have the length for a full-sized course, they can still enjoy the game. Try taking them to a short course or even just to the putting green. Distance might be all the rage in golf, but with kids growing at different rates, they should focus on skills that will stay with them — such as their short game. Distance will come in time.
“If the distance isn’t there yet, make up for it somewhere else,” Alpenfels said. “Just go over and work on your pitching and chipping and become really good at your short game.”
5. The goal is to have fun
Don’t push your kids so hard that the game feels like a job. The point of golf is to have fun. Don’t lose sight of that.
“It’s got to be fun – and fun for the parent and the kid,” Alpenfels said. “Parents often tear up when talking about it. Where else can they spend this kind of time, hours of it, away from the cell phone and everything else?”