The junior golf industry has grown significantly in recent years. A number of companies have sprung up in the past decade selling junior-only equipment and apparel. There is a lot of opportunity for junior golfers to hone their craft, and many of those opportunities are available to young children. Golf is a great activity for young children since it is a sport focused on self-discipline. If your child wants to take golf lessons, it can be hard to know where to start due to the wide variety of options. Here are a few tips to help you get your young child into golf:
- Make sure your child is having fun.
When your child takes on a new hobby, it can be tempting to create goals for your child to reach. Don’t get caught up in what you want you child to achieve. Focus on whether your child is having fun above all else. Remember that it’s just a game and remind your child of this, too. Make sure your child is well-rounded by encouraging him or her to play other sports or engage in other activities like music or art. Golf clubs that have related activities like Fling Golf or Foot Golf, or a swimming pool, can also be a lure for children. Mixing it up between fun games and learning the game of golf makes it feel like an outing to fun activities, rather than a a chore or skill to practice. If you are in the Kansas City-area, check out GreatLife KC, which has a variety of family-friendly innovations!
- Find the right instructor.
Even if you’re a golfer yourself, it’s best to find your child a professional instructor who knows how to teach someone the basics of golf. One of the best resources to use when looking for an instructor is PGA.com, which you can visit to find a PGA Professional near you.
- Get the proper equipment.
When it comes to buying equipment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the large variety of options, especially if your clubhouse doesn’t have a pro-shop and/or doesn’t carry items for youngsters. While the majority of major golf club companies make junior sets, it may be best to first look at manufacturers that cater to junior golfers in particular. One of the best manufacturers of junior golf equipment is U.S. Kids Golf. Studies have shown that many junior golfers who use the wrong equipment end up with lifelong swing flaws. In the past, children learned golf using adult clubs that were cut down to junior size. These clubs were heavy and unbalanced. That’s why junior golfers should turn to junior-specific equipment companies. Also make sure that it isn’t just gear your child is equipped with, you need to make sure that they have the apparel to keep them safe in the sun, comfortable, and stylish on the green! If you have a very young golfer between the ages of 3 and 6, check out a company called The Littlest Golfer, which not only has equipment, but also has a great selection of hats, shirts, outerwear and accessories for boys and girls of all ages. Their apparel is of the highest quality and the clothing is specifically tailored for children.
- Find the right place to play.
The majority of golf courses are accommodating to junior golfers, and some have specific times set aside for when juniors are allowed to play. It’s a good idea to look for a course that offers junior or “family tees.” There is also the PGA of America Family Course Program, which allows PGA Golf Professionals to make golf enjoyable for the whole family. Which leads us to our last point:
- Make it a family affair.
If you don’t know how to golf, take lessons at the same time, and practice with your child! If you do, go golfing together! Practice putting at home in the back yard together. Stop for a treat at the clubhouse together. It’s important not just to help your child develop a skill, and get them out and active in the sunshine, but it’s a great opportunity to develop moments together as a family.
It’s never too early to put your child in golf classes. If you follow these steps, your child will be able to hone his or her skill in the amazing sport of golf.