The future of golf will always lie with the next generation of players, but how can you get kids interested in golf?
The trick? Let them learn at their own pace and make the learning fun. With this, they will fall in love with the game in no time.
What I’ve learned over time is that teaching kids golf is more about giving them lots of fun experiences to learn from, rather than bombarding them with swing tips or golf drills for kids.
Giving your child the gift of golf is a present they can enjoy for their entire life – so there is no need to push them or pressure them at a young age.
You can get your kid involved in golf at a very young age, but it is never too late.
Ready to teach your kids golf? Let’s get started!
8 Steps To Get Your Kids Hooked On Golf
The main idea here is to introduce your kids to golf without any pressure. Keep it fun and let them go at their own pace. Oh, and let them drive the golf cart – kids love this!
#1: Watch The Professionals
Every weekend, there’s a whole host of great professional golf on TV – PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, or the European Tour.
Don’t force your kid to watch, but simply have golf on in the background. Show your enthusiasm, celebrate when your player shoots well, or grimace at a golf shank. The more animated you are, the more it will catch their attention – honestly, you’ll be amazed.
All of a sudden, they will start asking you about the rules. They might ask you which player you want to win. The only goal is to get them engaged and talking about the game.
Teaching kids golf is like starting a fire. You just need one spark to start the flame.
Of course, your child isn’t going to learn how to play golf just from the TV, but hopefully, they’ll be inspired by it. I mean, watching Rory McIlroy hit a 350-yard drive is quite inspirational.
#2: Introduce Them To The Golf Environment Slowly
Your kid doesn’t need to learn golf by diving straight into playing 18 holes. Golf is a difficult sport to learn, so keep it simple.
I wouldn’t even take them to the driving range the first time they visit your local golf course. Simply introduce them to the golf environment – let them see what it’s all about before they start playing.
Let your child walk through the Pro Shop. Take a look at the new golf equipment and apparel. Buy them a golf hat.
Related Article: The Best Kids Golf Bags: 2022 Edition
Buy them some lunch and sit on the patio that overlooks the 18th green. What kid doesn’t love some chicken tenders and fries?
While they eat, they can watch other players finish their round. They will overhear people talking about their round. The goal is to give them a feel of the golf course experience.
After lunch, you can visit the practice putting green. Let your child hit a few putts with your putter. Have a little putting contest. Maybe you let them win?
If they ask you when they can come back to the course, your trip was a success!
#3: Get Your Child Their Own Equipment
All golfers love to get new clubs and your child will be no exception. You don’t have to break the bank, but find them a driver and putter designed for children their age/height.
And more importantly, get them involved in the buying process. If you can, make a day of it – let them try out lots of different bits in the shop, give them some power in choosing a golf club they love and will want to use.
Teaching kids golf is about getting them invested. And getting them the gear to feel the part, will make them want to play the part.
From my experience, as soon as you give them their new clubs, the begging will start. When can we go back to the golf course? When can we go to the driving range?
Anytime your child asks to visit the golf course or driving range, the only answer is “yes”.
#4: Visit The Driving Range
Next up – it’s time to take your little ones to the driving range.
Playing on the golf course can cause stress and frustration. For this reason, it’s always best to start teaching kids golf by starting on the driving range.
Also – no swing tips are allowed. These can also create pressure and frustration. Just let them do their thing – the only advice you should provide is to tee it up high and let it fly. Your kid’s golf swing will develop over time.
Let them learn how to make contact with the ball. It doesn’t matter if it hooks or slices – just have your child focus on hitting the ball hard.
As your child progresses in the game of golf there will be time to learn control and finesse.
Congratulate them every time they make solid contact with the ball. The primary goal when you are teaching kids golf should be fun and encouragement.
For extra fun, try taking your child to a high-tech driving range. Let them smack some golf balls at the Angry Birds, or track their hits with special analytic chips.
#5: Make It Social – Bring Friends
The best way to teach kids golf is to create a social network. Sure your child will enjoy playing with you, but they will love learning golf with other players their age.
There are several ways to turn golf into a group sport. Are any of your child’s friends interested in or already playing golf?
If so, invite them along the next time you head to the golf course or the driving range.
If not, most courses have instructors certified on how to teach kids golf. This is often done with group lessons designed to teach fundamentals.
The great thing about group lessons for kids is that your child will learn golf while making new friends. New friends that are also interested in playing the game.
Before you know it, your child will be heading to the course with some buddies, just like you.
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#6: Time To Experience The Golf Course
Next up to teach kids golf is to head to the golf course.
As your child falls in love with the game of golf, they will want to head out and play some holes on the golf course. This is a critical moment in their golf journey.
The first time a golfer tries to go from the driving range to the course can be humbling. Your only job is to help your child enjoy the experience, encourage them and avoid frustration.
Before your tee-off, talk about expectations. It is fine if your child doesn’t finish every hole. Avoid keeping score. Are they having a tough hole? Move on to the next.
Celebrate every accomplishment! Hit a great shot – high five. Finish a hole – fist bump.
Don’t plan on playing 18-holes your first time out. Try 9-holes first. Get a tee time late in the afternoon when the course won’t be crowded.
The goal is to avoid situations that might sour the experience for your child.
Teach your child the game of golf by talking them through different situations they encounter. How to escape from the rough? How to hit a bunker shot? What is the correct ball position for each shot?
Ask them if they have any questions. Talk to them about pace of play and golf etiquette. Your child doesn’t need to be a rules expert but it’s good to teach them the basics at a young age.
Play with them. Your child will learn about golf by watching you hit shots. Laugh together when you hit a bad one.
Also, a top tip is always to bring plenty of snacks. Food will always make your kid feel better after a bad hole!
#7: Let Your Child Be The Author Of Their Golf Story
As your child learns golf, your job is to give them options – but let them make the choices. Do they want to be competitive in the game of golf? Or do they just want to play for fun?
If your child wants to play in tournaments, help guide them down this road. It might make sense for individual lessons to work on their swing.
Help them find the right tournaments, but never force them to play. Guide but don’t push.
Some golfers love to play tournaments while others prefer to enjoy golf as a casual sport. Teaching kids golf doesn’t mean they need to play tournaments.
Tournament golf can be thrilling, but it can also be stressful. Before signing your child up to compete in a kid’s golf tournament, make sure they are ready and that they want to.
Take the time to practice the “tournament experience”. If your child is going to play in an 18-hole tournament they should be used to playing 18 holes. In other words, teach your child tournament golf by playing practice rounds with tournament rules.
Count every stroke. Make all putts (no “gimmes”). No mulligans.
Discuss the rules situations your child might encounter. What happens if their ball goes out of bounds or ends up in a hazard?
Learning to play tournament golf will take time. Always check with your child golfer before signing them up for the next one.
#8: Never Forget – Golf Should Be Fun
There are many different ways to teach kids golf. Be creative and find what works best for your child golfer, but never forget the #1 rule.
Golf should be fun. Always keep your child’s golf in perspective. Encourage them, compliment them, laugh with them. There is no reason to get frustrated when they play poorly.
Your goal should be to teach your kid golf, not create the next Tiger Woods.
It is possible your child will love the game and excel in tournaments. It is also possible they will enjoy playing with friends, but never want to compete.
Both results are awesome. Either way, you have helped your child learn a game they will enjoy for years.
Teaching your kids golf is a great way to bond. You will make amazing family memories on the course. Good luck!
So, You’ve Taught Your Child Golf – What’s Next?
It might be time to focus on your golf game. Your child might be beating you soon! Establish a golf handicap and start working on your game.
Related: Golf Handicap Explained: What It Means, How It Works, How to Calculate it