Raising Golfers

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By CRickard

  • 13 Replies
  1. CRickard

    Metro Detroit

    Looking for some recommendations and/or resources out there.

    I have two young daughters under 4 years old that I want to steer towards golf. I grew up on a country club, played competitively, and ultimately was lucky enough to play college golf. I want them to have the same experience/opportunities I did growing up. However, I would occasionally get burned out playing golf, along with other sports growing up.

    Does anyone know of any good books, podcasts, videos on how to raise golfers and/or tips on how to parent kid athletes?

    What's everyone's recommendations on the various kid clinics/camps such as TGA, First Tee, etc...

  2. EddietheKarp


    Great question, CRickard! In my experience as a professional, the pitfall many parents find themselves sucked into is a focus on technique, and this is across all sports. The fact is, kids, unless they are prodigies, lack the neural development to unconsciously perform a complex motor skill after only a few months of instruction.

    Baseline at 4-10 years old is to spark interest in the game. Make practice short and fun, with attainable goals. SuperSpeed has great training aids to help with establishing kinematic sequence, while putting and chipping contests on the practice green are always a salient point for development.

    From there, just getting them on the course is the best course of action. They may want to sit on your lap and drive the cart most of the time, and that's fine. Sooner or later, if you get them out on the course enough, they're going to want to "do what daddy does". At that point, teaching how the game is played can be introduced.

    The absolute biggest takeaway I've had in my life is that it must be THIER DECISION to take up the game at any level.

    God Bless and I wish you and you daughters the best of luck!
  3. CRickard

    Metro Detroit

    Thanks Eddie!

    Ya, that's where we are at right now. At two I got a set of plastic clubs that she's been hitting around and at times, hitting fun things like water balloons and whatnot. This year I have been taking her to the course with me every once in a while. I got her a US Kids putter that we bring and wack it around the greens. Other than that, she loves to ride in the cart with me and hit balls with her putter on the course.

    I'll have to check out that SuperSpeed, I haven't heard of it.

    Like you said, I am trying to make it their decision. However, I am sort of brain washing her with kid's books and other things related to golf, along with taking her putt putting.

    Appreciate the feedback.
  4. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    What's everyone's recommendations on the various kid clinics/camps such as TGA, First Tee, etc...

    First, are they really interested in golf at that early age? If so, then find out at what age these clinics will take them. Find them in your area and get them enrolled. Then if they really like the game, find them a good teacher and let the PGA teacher do the instructing.

    As parents, we all want our children to be good athletes, but is that really what they want. Find out what they want and let them really excel in something they want, whether it be golf, swimming, basketball, softball, music, etc. My better half is a retired elementary guidance counselor. I worked as a career counselor. With respect.
  5. Antonio O

    Antonio O
    Markham, ON

    This summer I signed up the 7 year old for a 1 week half day camp at a local course and she loved it. She also has made a friend that we now keep in touch with for playdates.
    Now two of my oldest daughters are in once a week golf lessons in a group setting at the same local course. They also both love it and they're having a lot of fun.
    IMO introduce them to the game and just let them have fun and talk to the coaches and see what their assessment are with the skill level they've developed.
    Young kids generally gravitate to what their parents love to do so if that's heading out to the driving range or play a quick nine holes with the kids in tow it'll help foster that love of the game.
    Mix in other sports/activities so they don't get burnt out. And just remember, make it fun for them and they'll want to keep doing it!
  6. Keith M

    Keith M
    Acworth, GA

    I have two boys, now 14 and 15. I got them both started at 3 and 4 and now only my oldest plays golf. The youngest, it just didn't suit his temperament. He now plays tennis and basketball as it favors his athleticism and its faster pace appeals to him more.

    I put them in a local course's junior program starting at age 5 and I was lucky that the lead is a US Kids master instructor, so they were grounded in solid fundamentals. As his interest increased and skill, I started private lessons with the same instructor.

    We then joined a private club and he's been working with a different instructor the last five years. He know plays high school golf and is a 9 handicap, trending downward and getting crazy long. He definitely has other interests, he's active in school and band, played baseball and basketball previously.

    A friend that has a son a few years older and now plays college golf gave me some great advice which is that your child will tell you if they want to do this. They'll either just want play here and there and enjoy the game, or they will ask to dig in and dedicate themselves. He was 100% right, it was after his freshman golf season that he really expressed wanting to get better.

    How I feel about it now, is facilitate, don't dictate. Give them the opportunity, they will decide if it's what they want to dedicate time. Are there times that I have to roust him from bed for a morning tee time or lesson? Absolutely. But I make sure it's that he still wants to do, that it's not an obligation.
  7. Jon C

    Jon C
    Lehigh Valley, PA

    Mostly following to get additional ideas as well! So far some things that have worked with my 2.5 y/o to be enjoying it now and then rather than constantly be on it with him have been:

    Books: Tee time with Daddy, Abc's of golf, Tiger vs Bear
    Play: we go to the range when he asks after daycare and either putt and play, or we've gone and I'll put little water balloons on the tee to hit vs balls that don't go too far yet

    Instruction: yours are older as my course pro won't start with him until 3-4 which is fair lol, good luck and will enjoy watching the suggestions!

  8. CRickard

    Metro Detroit

    Thanks Jon,

    Ya, I do the water balloon trick too. I've also grabbed some of those same books that we read. I've had my 3 year old in various sports trying them out for the last year and a half like soccer, gymnastics, swimming, etc. Looking to possibly get her in a golf one next year to test the waters.

    She's pretty interested so far, as we are driving in the car she get's all excited to point out if we are driving by a golf course. I just want to find some type of resource for me that helps me as a parent raise kids that hopefully get interested in sports.
  9. I do the water balloon trick with my kids too and it seems to help them!
  10. Tyler_S

    Orange, CA

    Early on I would try to keep it as light and fun as possible. Forget about score.

    Establishing good fundamentals is good but let them enjoy their time out there with dad.

    Keep it fun, let them tell you when they are done or want to play again. Remember it’s their journey not yours.

    Make it a bonding experience and not a this is what you have to do type and you should be ok.

    It’s a fine line today in pushing kids to do a sport. They should play multiple sports and have fun. They will naturally gravitate to the ones they love. Golf is a life sport so if your girls don’t play competitively, they still can play with their Dad.

    Hope this helps.
  11. Mike M

    Mike M
    Salem MA

    Just a little background;I played muni golf all my life. I picked the game up quickly but relatively late (17). I was lucky enough to make my college team and fortunate enough to win a couple city championships in my 30's and 40's.I'm 67 now and the game has been great to me. Played to a 2 for many years.I can't play like I used to, but still having fun.

    I took my son out for the first time as a 3 year old in 1986. We'd cut through the woods and play a couple holes in the early evening so as not to disturb other players.I carried my bag on one shoulder and him on the other. I had one club for him, a cut down putter. He spent more time playing in the bunkers than actually putting; point being I let him accept the game at his own pace.

    Fast forward 37 years; as a 40 year old he's a member of a private club and plays to a 2.7.However, I think the best is yet to come; my 8 year old grandson, loves the game. He's gone out with his Dad at the private course, but he likes to play with the "old guys at muni. I take a cut down driver with me, and let him hit a couple when the group in front is out of range,I think he's going to be a better player than both of us.

    Best thing is let the kids have fun. Don't push. Personally, I love it when the little one calls the house and says to my wife "Nana, is grampa playing tomorrow?"
  12. Edward K

    Edward K
    Wesley Chapel, FL

    Golf is hard, odds are 1 will love it, the other will lose interest quick. That's just the law of averages. There are zero guarantees about performance, college, etc. Let them discover the passion, maybe find another sport. We have a few parents at my club that are literally pushing hard, trying to be a coach/teacher, it's going to backfire.
  13. Dwayne N

    Dwayne N
    Island, KY

    Started my grandson off with once a week lessons 30 minutes or so. Followed by some fun things that he liked doing as he got a little older I put him in a golf tourney with me a and a couple buddies we weren't worried about score or winning but making him feel he was really helping us out he made a couple putts with our lining him up. Hooked him right away. Just keep it fun for them and don't force it everyone has their own path in life. May not be of our liking but support them anyway possible and be thankful they are healthy and thriving at something
  14. Justin V

    Justin V
    Milton, MA

    Completely agree with Tyler. I have ten year old twin girls, and they have grown to love the game. There are tons to YouTube and websites on helping kids to learn and love the game, but its so personal to your child. When my girls were younger, foam balls and plastic clubs were great to just make contact. Now they do a summer camp and PGA junior league at our local chapter, which is an amazing way for them to get some instruction, enjoy being on the course, and the team format makes it fun.


    Good luck and its something you guys can do as a family for many years to come...great to start them young!

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