Tips from the Pro
July 12, 2006
The number of junior golfers in the past five to ten years has grown dramatically. Many experts attribute this to the "Tiger" affect. Regardless of the reason, junior golf has become an integral part of services offered by golf facilities. In this article, we will talk about how parents can make the early golf experience more enjoyable for their young golfing family.
In getting young people started, you can never start too early. Plastic clubs used a toy are a great way to start. If your youngster enjoys playing with the plastic club he/she will grow to remember that playing with the club represents a fun thing to do. At this age, two to four, there should be no instruction other than making the experience as fun as possible.
When to buy clubs? The point at which parents should buy clubs for their comes when they have the muscle strength to move the club in a safe manner. When the child is about five, giving them a seven iron at the driving range might be a good idea. Even at this stage, make sure the session is kept as fun as possible and all the instruction is positive. In terms of instruction, only talk to the child about their large muscles. Work on the shoulders and getting junior to a proper finish position.
Starting lessons with a PGA professional is a great idea when the child is about seven or eight. At this development stage, most children are able to retain information from one lesson to the next. The important part of lessons for parents at this level is to have realistic expectations of the outcome. Some kids will pick up on the sport right away, while others might have to work a bit harder. When your child is ready to start with lessons, is the time to start looking at golf clubs. There are many different types of clubs offered in stores. The weight and length of the clubs are the deciding factor. The golf clubs must be extremely light and have the correct length. Different companies will have ways to trade up in length and weight as the child grows. Look into what is offered and make the best decision for your child.
I will continue to write about what is best for kids in the game of golf. For all the parents out there, let your kids have fun with the game without pushing too hard. Golf is a game and we can all do a better job of enjoying it.
Ben Sinclair is a PGA member and golf pro at the Park City Golf Club.
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For information on lessons and tee times, please call the golf shop at 615-5800.