How to excite younger kids about learning golf

Advice and three golf games to help your children begin to love golf, their time at the course and the skills needed to enjoy the game.

The post How to excite younger kids about learning golf appeared first on Golf.

Advice and three golf games to help your children begin to love golf, their time at the course and the skills needed to enjoy the game.

The post How to excite younger kids about learning golf appeared first on Golf.

The gift of learning golf can be a life changer, and starting kids young can make all the difference. The people your kids will meet, and the values and skills they will gain on the golf course can be a turning point throughout their lives.

I learned a few tricks about keeping kids entertained on the course while teaching a summer golf camp at my local country club for seven years. And no, it isn’t always easy to keep kids focused while also having fun.

The main goal is keeping them from becoming bored, uncomfy or upset. Getting kids excited about golf is all about keeping them moving, laughing, hydrated…and well-fed. Bring snacks — lots of snacks — along with a playful attitude.

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Here are a few easy ways to get kids hyped about golf:

Let them decorate their golf balls with permanent markers. The level of joy is unmatched for a kid customizing their own golf ball(s). Kids writing their names, initials and/or coloring on the balls just makes golf more fun.

– Incorporate fun golf games (like the ones I’ll list for you soon) into their practice or even playtime in the backyard. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t even know they’re developing important golf skills in the meantime.

– Be encouraging and easy-going. Amply praise your kids any time they make an indication of athleticism. Maybe their form isn’t perfect yet, but at least they’re out there swinging a golf club. The smiles are so worth it!

Let them play, practice and learn with their friends. While a group setting seems potentially more distracting for children, it actually tends to help kids stay focused and entertained because, well, everything is more fun with your friends.

– Course etiquette can save the day. No one expects little kids to repair every little divot and know every rule – you can teach them more about all of that when they’re a bit older. For now, keep it sweet and simple with these four pointers:

– Stay behind and far enough away from anyone hitting a ball.

– Look around before you swing to be sure not to hit anyone.

– Try to be quiet and respectful around others who are hitting.

– Be ready for your turn and already thinking about your next shot.

Okay, now back to the fun part…

During my time as a camp counselor, plenty of time was spent waiting for parents to pick their children up. The mind wanders, the golf clubs are sitting there, and eventually mini games are created. Like Golf Baseball and the others listed below. Here’s how to play…

Game 1: “Golf Baseball”

Builds hand-eye coordination, works in a bit of cardio, and helps kids connect golf to the fun and competitiveness of baseball.

You’ll need a larger and softer ball than a golf ball. You’ll need it to be a bit light so that it doesn’t travel too far. Browse any local store with a sports section, and I’m sure you’ll easily find what you need.

SHOP HERE: perfect for squishy “golf baseballs”

  1. Divide the kids into teams, lay out the bases, and position the kids in the fairway as if it were a smaller baseball field.
  2. Then, the hitting team takes turns swinging at a stationary foam ball (as if they’re teeing off), using their drivers instead of a bat.
  3. Be sure to remind kids to gently lay down their club.
  4. Once the ball is hit, field the ball and attempt to tag the runner, as in baseball.
  5. Play the game roughly using the rules of baseball, taking score with runs earned. The kids will be entertained for longer than you’d believe.
  6. Enjoy watching your kids get excited about swinging a golf club and making a connection with a ball.

Game 2: “Putting closest to the string”

Familiarizes putting motions and relation to ball speed, helps build and gauge depth perception for learning to read greens.

All you need for this game is a ball of yarn, or if you’d like to be a bit fancier and convenience yourself from untangling knots, check out ‘The Raindrop Putting String’ which you can purchase here.

SHOP HERE: retractable putting-string

SHOP HERE: putting chalk pens 3-pack

  1. Lay out the yarn or putting-string in a straight line, marking the distance the child should aim to roll their ball.
  2. Take another small string and place it beside their ball or draw a line by their ball with chalk to indicate how far back the child should bring their club to hit the ball the correct distance.
  3. You can even take this a step further by laying out another string to show the line they should putt down to help them visualize a proper ball path and aim.
  4. Depending on how many kids are present, or if you’ve chosen to play in teams, line up 2-3 children to putt at a time.
  5. Play by knockout rounds by team, or decipher which individuals won by whoever finishes closest to the yarn.

Game 3: “Points per circle”

Helps with aiming, swing path and swing speed, and also teaches the importance of scorekeeping.

You can get pretty creative with this game, using it for putting or even chipping practice. If you want to work on chipping flop shots, you can use hoola hoops to encourage kids to get a lift on their ball and make it over the edge of the hoop. But it’s important to teach bump and runs too, so it is nice to use yarn to easily let the ball roll into the circle.

  1. Cut three strings from your yarn varying in length to create nesting circles on the putting green. I recommend cutting 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-ft string lengths to create your circles.
  2. Arrange your circles within each other (around an actual hole on a green if you have one).
  3. Define a point system per hole size, where rolling the ball to the smallest hole scores the most points.
  4. Depending on how many kids are present, line up 2-3 children to putt at a time.
  5. After everyone has tapped their putts, note which children were the closest and give points or name a winner as needed.

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