Teaching the Kids to Play Golf

With so many young pro golfers rising to stardom, it’s unsurprising that many of our kids have suddenly started begging to visit the driving range. An exciting development if you’re really into the game yourself, but it’s wise to make sure this is more than a passing phase before you eagerly invest in a custom set of pint-sized PINGs. Most golf teaching facilities will let you borrow clubs while your kid learns the basics, although you’ll probably want to find a retailer with decent lake balls for sale instead of forking out for expensive new balls, which may disappear alarmingly fast to begin with.

Choose balls with low compression, like the Nike Karma or Srixon Soft Feel, or anything marketed at golfers with a low swing speed. These’ll help your child get the ball up into the air in a straight line, which, at least while they’re getting started, is more useful than achieving distance.

If your mini-McIlroy doesn’t grow bored or disheartened once reality kicks in, you may decide to buy him or her some lessons. However, if you’re not too bad at the game yourself, teaching it can be a fantastic bonding experience – providing you’re relaxed enough to keep things fun & can avoid transferring your own performance frustrations onto your child.

The most relaxing way to teach your offspring any new skill is to do it on holiday, when you have their undivided attention & without the pressure of work or chores to drag you away from the session.

Although many golf resorts offer all-inclusive golf packages, these sometimes only include 2 rounds at a specified course. Any non-golf family members must be catered for, too. Your best compromise is usually to find a general package deal, with lots of general activities included, but with good golf facilities nearby. This will leave your family at liberty to enjoy themselves & you the freedom to choose where & when you play.
So Remember also to:
Avoid sunstroke. While your head may’ve developed solar immunity from long hours on the sunny fairway, your child’s brain will start to melt after half an hour, especially if they’re British & not used to a Mediterranean climate. Not only will you have to put up with a howling tantrum, but your child will probably learn to associate golf with feeling physically awful, & grow reluctant to play. Insist on hats (Rickie Fowler’s backwards baseball cap might be a handy incentive) & lots of bottled water.

Stay playful. It’s easy to dive into the nitty-gritty of grip & aerodynamics, but that can become boring even to an adult. Although your child does need to develop muscle-memory with correct stance & swing techniques right from the beginning (it’s much harder to break a bad habit than forge a good one from the start), keeping the game fun will make the lessons much easier to absorb.

Don’t get too competitive. However much of a prodigy junior turns out to be, don’t let yourself feel threatened & start trying to outdo instead of teach. Your drive looks pretty amazing to them at the moment anyway, & there’s always puberty to knock them down a peg or two before they leave you in the dust.