Golf Basics for your Kids

By: James Murray

Teaching golf to kids, first of all, FUN is the name of the game. Throw in all the technical jargon at the beginning and you will effectively loose the child's desire to learn golf. Allow a child to "play" golf for fun and enjoyment, and eventually he or she will become a life-long convert of the game of golf!

Hours of practice will only overwhelm a child, so just allow him or her to practice a little bit at first, say 40 minutes. This will keep motivation for practice high.

And it is okay to let them start by hitting the ball hard. That's part of the fun! Do not worry about their grip right off the bat.

Just have them keep the right hand under the left and then swing away!

Also make sure the child keeps his or her feet on the ground while following through.

Now, if you want to buy a child's set of clubs, that would be ok, but you are likely to do just as well with a women's used set of golf clubs. They are lighter and nice for kids. All you need is a women's 9 iron, a 6 iron, 3-wood and a putter.

Let your child start out with little chipping and putting games. This play will help him or her get the feel for the club and the ball.

Kids can bounce the ball off the face of a wedge and try hitting leaves or twigs.

Little contests and games keep motivation high. Avoid pressure or competition early on. You want your child to enjoy the game and want to play it every chance they get, not end up so confused and unfocused that they cannot figure out what to do and just quit in frustration.

If you are encouraging, your child will love for you to play alongside of them. Just do not start demanding wins and emphasizing competition, or you will pop the enthusiasm really fast.

Children will move along as they are ready. Letting them progress at their own pace prevents future burnout. Never make a child play the game, unless he wants to. The game should be fun, and a simple joy. Laugh and have a blast yourself!

If your child's interest increases, you might consider golf camp or some private lessons with someone experienced in teaching children. If you do seek a personal instructor for your child, watch how the person teaches first. You really want an encouraging person with a knack for teaching kids.

Also, please remember to teach your child the etiquette of golf. Little things are very important, like... Do not talk while someone else is swinging. Do not step in front of someone while they are swinging. Stand still. Do not walk in front of someone else's line or through line.

Finally, never criticize. Praise their shots and swings. Encourage them to correct certain moves, but do not dwell on what was done incorrectly.

By concentrating on the most important aspects of playing golf, the enjoyment and the basics, you may end up with a child who rivals you on the range and who enjoys a lifelong love for the game of golf.

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