Golf is a game that is difficult to master but can be enjoyed for an entire lifetime. Children who learn at a young age tend to continue playing the remainder of their lives.
When teaching your kids, start with the basic fundamentals of etiquette, grip, posture and alignment. Golf is a challenging sport, so insisting on highly specific details in early lessons is not recommended. The most important thing is to keep the lessons fun. Give them a good, simple introduction. Encourage them at all times and let them have success. Skill refinement will come later when their interest and swing merits such efforts.
Children should be first taught to swing a golf club through a series of movements linked to familiar sports skills (throwing, batting, kicking a ball, rolling a ball), and then gradually adding a club and a ball. If they are having trouble making contact with a golf ball at first, replace it with a tennis ball.
When beginning to teach putting, forget about reading greens and begin by focusing on the stroke. Most important is to teach consistency in tempo and that the putter should go back the same distance it comes forward. From there, you can show that the distance the ball rolls is relative to how far the putter is pulled back, not how hard they strike the ball or swing the club.
Start by rolling balls by hand on a putting green. Get them used to the motion of pulling the arm back and letting it swing forward at a constant speed. Have them take notice of the relationship between how far they pull their arm back to how far the ball rolls on the green. From there, introduce the putter and try to recreate that swinging arm motion. When teaching putting, it’s best to make their target a three-foot radius around the hole, not actually in the hole. This is especially important for young golfers in order to encourage success.
So go out with your kids to a local putting green or driving range. Just remember it all starts with having fun and they’ll continue on to a lifetime’s worth of great memories.
Photo: Flickr | kcangel70