As parents, most of us want our kids to love the things that we do. And with all that golf has given to us, it’s easy to see why we’d want the next generation to get the same value out of the sport. In a digital age where too many kids spend hours every day in front of a screen, golf offers an opportunity to break away from YouTube and Xbox and get out in the fresh air. It’s also a great way to keep our children discipline, patience, and respect for themselves and others.
If you’re thinking about getting your kids into golf, you should check out our Burl Oaks Junior Golf program. Here’s what you can expect when you do and everything else you need to know about getting your child involved in golf.
Which Age is the Right Age to Start Golf?
With plenty of options for youth sports equipment and training out there, it’s easier than ever to get your kids started in golf. Before kids are even old enough to pick up a club, parents and relatives can start getting them exposed to the sport early.
Here are just a few examples of ways you can introduce your kids to golf long before they’re old enough for golf lessons:
● Gaming: Play kid-level golf simulator games on your console system or download them on your kids’ tablets and encourage them to play. This teaches them the basic concept, rules, and mechanics of golf.
● TV: Encourage your child to watch golf with you. While watching, explain what’s going on and try to get them hyped up about the game.
● Books: Read them children’s books about golf. You’d be surprised how many there are on Amazon!
At Burl Oaks, kids can enroll in our Junior Golf Program as early as seven years old. But when can you know that your child is ready to start playing golf? While Tiger Woods showed golf acumen at two years old, Larry Nelson didn’t start until he was 21 after returning from Vietnam. Many experts recommend school age to start learning most sports or music lessons since they’re starting to focus during the school day at that age.
Because no two kids are alike and everyone develops at their own pace, the answer will depend on the individual. Here are a few clues your offspring may be ready to take up the sport:
● They’re able to walk or move around on their own.
● They can focus their attention on something for more than a couple of minutes.
● They’ve shown an interest in the game.
Keeping it Fun
Sure, getting good at golf is a lot of work. But it’s also a ton of fun. One of the biggest reasons that children (and adults, for that matter) give up on golf is that it just isn’t fun and they aren’t engaged in the sport. Too often, that’s because adults are holding kids to adult-level expectations without finding a way to make it interesting.
We know that kids are still developing the level of focus and discipline that adult golfers have. Without lowering expectations, we’ll find ways to make all of that hard work engaging and fun while your junior develops his or her abilities.
Making the Most of Your Child’s Junior Golf Experience
Helping a child succeed at golf begins at home. Here are a few things parents can do to help their junior golfers excel at golf:
1. Encourage your junior golfer
There was a time not too long ago when parents and coaches took a hard-lined negative-reinforcement approach to sports. Many Gen-X and older Millennial parents can probably recall being told what they were doing wrong without much encouragement, an approach that often led to poor self-esteem and burnout.
Trust that your junior golfer is already putting plenty of expectations on herself without added pressure. Try to focus on her successes and avoid coming on too strong with pressure to succeed.
2. Respect their age.
What parent doesn’t love the idea of having a kid who can play on the same level as the pros? While this is a fun thing to dream about, don’t forget that kids are going to be limited by their physical size and development. When you’re considering your child’s potential, don’t get too focused on comparing him to older golfers. Until a golfer hits his teen years, he’s only going to be able to hit the ball so far depending on his size and strength.
3. Let them help customize their equipment.
A great way to get your young golfer on board with practice and give them some buy-in is to involve them in the process of choosing their equipment. It might seem like a fun idea to surprise them with a set of clubs, but it’s better to get a custom fitting and let them be part of the process.
Signs of a Junior Golfer’s Potential
Unlike adult golfers, junior golfers’ potential is more in their actions than their scores. Without comparing your young golfer too much to other golfers, there are plenty of ways to identify their potential. Here are a few:
● They’re asking to spend more time on the golf course or love to practice.
● They’re thinking about their game rather than just trying to hit the ball as far as possible.
● They’re interested in their clubs and have taken the time to learn about different types of clubs and how they work.
● They’ve requested special equipment or clubs.
● They talk about golf even when they’re not playing.
● Their interactions with coaches are positive.
● They have a high level of focus when playing or practicing.
Sign Up for Junior Golf Today!
Right now is the perfect time to get on board for our summer Junior Golf Program. Our program begins in mid-June and runs through early August. Each session will include a 45-minute golf lesson followed by time on the golf course.
Younger golfers play three holes, while older junior golfers play five or nine, and parents are encouraged to participate if they wish to! You don’t have to be a Burl Oaks Golf Club member to sign your child up, but members will receive a discounted rate. Contact us online to learn more, or call us at 952-472-7017 to enroll your junior today.