How to get your kids hooked on golf? Collin Morikawa says try this

Collin Morikawa waves to the crowd

Collin Morikawa discussed his golf game, the state of the PGA Tour and even offered some advice for junior golfers on Wednesday at The Sentry.

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The Sentry — its new name — begins Thursday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, which is by nearly all accounts one of the best ways to start a golf season. Laid-back Hawaii vibe. Nice purse up for grabs. Fresh off a break.

Collin Morikawa, like many in attendance, hasn’t played for quite some time (his last start was the Hero World Challenge), so it was also the perfect opportunity for the media to pick his brain on a variety of topics.

Morikawa talked in depth about his form. (“Golf game’s good.”) What statistic he think constitutes a good season. (“Wins.”) Why he was one of the first pros to publicly pledge money to help after the state’s wildfires. (“Every little bit helps.”) And of course he talked about the future of pro golf, those who left for LIV and if he feels satisfied by how much intel he’s heard from the PGA Tour and its PIF negotiations. (“Everyone makes their own decision, but I do miss playing with everyone at one time.”)

One of his last questions, however, was different than what most other players were asked and has nothing to do with this week’s tournament or the future of the PGA Tour or the controversial player-of-the-year announcement. And Morikawa gave a thoughtful answer.

What’s your best advice for kids who want to start playing golf?

“Make it fun,” he began. “I think kids now, you guys are very lucky because golf’s a lot more popular, even though it, you know, comparing to when I grew up, I’m only 26, but I grew up playing golf by myself a lot. Make it as fun as possible. Hit it as hard as you want. Go make the weirdest putt possible. Go try and make a trick shot. Make it fun. Do that first, because when you’re able to do that, then you’re able to be creative. When you’re able to do that, you can go out and play golf any way you want. There’s no one way to play golf. No one should ever tell you that. Go make it fun in any way possible for how you think golf is fun.”

This is very much how Morikawa himself grew up. He played at Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale, Calif., a nine-hole course with 10 greens. In 2021 he talked about how hitting balls into a net there was the only way he could warm up, but he used that as an opportunity to get creative. It also helped turn him into the elite ball-striker he is today.

“I would stand kind of off to the side and create a ball above my feet, even though it was a half inch above the ground, and I’d have one foot off,” Morikawa said. “I remember a parent came up to me and was like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ You’re not really practicing anything good, and it actually sticks out to me now because, look, we’re never going to get a flat lie. We’re always going to have to adjust. You’re always going to have to do something different. So I think that’s why me practicing on the golf course, throwing a few balls out, and it’s been that creative side of hitting different shots.”

Morikawa’s 2024 season kicks off at 12:45 p.m. ET on Thursday alongside Xander Schauffele and Tom Kim. You can check out complete tee times here.

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at