Junior Golf Instruction - How To Start Your Child

By: Max Johnson

Your kids are getting to the age that they would like to start to play golf and you are wondering when to start a junior golf instruction program. Knowing when to start and how to find the right junior golf lessons for a child are crucial components to building an environment for your child to enjoy and succeed in the game of golf.

Begin by asking yourself, not your junior, some questions about what your motivation might be for getting their junior golf lessons. Four reasons that parents want junior golf lessons for their young child (under eleven) typically are the following:
Because of golf's reputation for rules, fair play and self-policing, the parents have a genuine interest in seeing their children attempt to play the game.
A babysitting service, parents get a time out from their kids for a while.

Parents want to spend more time with their child and have decided that golf will be the vehicle to do this.
As so many do, parents feel that their children must be in as many activities as possible.

Whatever your reasons are for wanting your child to begin to play the game of golf, the important thing is to ensure the kids have fun and enjoy themselves. Golf is a great game that can teach your child many life skills and is a game they can play the rest of their life.

The most important thing to do is ask your child if playing golf is something that they would like to do. If the answer is no, do not push them to play. You do need to make sure that they understand the option is always open for them to play. It make take you asking multiple times and giving them the information they need to feel comfortable to begin playing the game.

Once your child decides that they do want to play golf here are some steps to take to get them started and to keep the game fun for them:
Begin with a real junior set of clubs. Many people think that by making a club shorter it will fit a junior golfer. This is NOT true. You need to find a company that specially and properly weights their junior golf clubs depending on the size of your child. In addition, you do not need to buy a whole set. Most companies will allow you to purchase junior clubs one at a time.

Find a qualified junior golf instructor. You can contact your local PGA Section or a local club or golf course either by phone or online. If a Certified PGA Professional is available in your area, he or she would be a good place to start.

Make sure that your series of junior golf lessons include sessions on the rules of golf as well as golf etiquette. Depending on their age, the rules and etiquette situations do not need to be deep in the heart of the rule book. It has always amazed me on what a child at any age can retain when they want to learn.

Your junior does not have to play a "real golf hole" to have fun. Make the putting green the goal. This is a good way for the younger junior golfers to get started and as it reads only count the shots that it takes to get to the green to determine a score.
The hole does not need to be the end of the hole. What does this mean? Some smaller juniors find it more fun to hit it into a bunker than onto a green.

This may seem counter-intuitive to many golf purists however, once you think about it, typically the bunkers are smaller than the putting greens. This can only make them better later. In addition, they LOVE to climb into the bunkers and this gives us a chance to teach bunker etiquette.

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