Teaching Kids to Play Golf
In teaching and coaching juniors here are some things that parents really want to be aware of.
- One, make it an environment that is safe for them emotionally as well as physically. In this game you are going to hit a lot of bad shots and you will probably lose more tournaments and events that you actually play in. So can you actually have an emotionally safe environment where you get rewarded for trying, doing the right things and continuing the process. That is what the real aspect of playing golf is and those are the real skills you can learn.
- The other thing is can you teach the kids to have fun playing the game. I like to have them play early and learn late. What I mean by that is have them get out and experience playing the golf course, hitting the ball around, even if the do not have the prefect grip or the perfect posture or the perfect swing. They can learn that as they go along, they can learn it later, perhaps when their bodies are bigger and stronger and more mature, better able to handle the swinging of the golf club.
Choosing Clubs for Young Golfers
In terms of golf clubs to use I think if you are starting them out have them hit adult clubs like a driver or a three wood on a tee. The golf club is going to be very big for them but here is what they are going to learn. Make sure you get them far enough away from the golf ball and allow them to swing the club around them. Most of the kids make the mistake of picking the club up to early. If they can get the feeling of swinging the club around them, and a bigger, longer club will certainly do that, they are now starting to develop the correct shape to their swing and they will learn how to play the game hitting a draw or hook right away.
You can use an illustration of a hula hoop here and you can see if you can get them to swing the club parallel to that or around their body. A way to illustrate that for them would be to put the hula hoop over your shoulders so that it matches the same angle as the club and then swing the club around, their job would be to swing the club so that it is parallel to the hula hoop. A longer club for a young person will get them to automatically do that, just make sure the ball is teed up.
Have Fun in Learning Golf
Most of all have fun with them. one of the things that my kids do when I take them out to the driving range they spend more time jumping in and out of the bunker than actually taking golf instruction. But when they do have time to focus on that golf instruction they are totally engaged, maybe for 10 minutes, but they got it, they are totally engaged. Then they are off doing something else, playing another activity or doing another sport. That is how they learn. Take advantage of that skill. Keep having fun with them.