Introducing Kids to the Game of Golf.

Teaching Your Child…you the parent (Part 1)

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For parents of young golfers, you have a significant influence on whether your child plays the game of golf. There are many ways to approach introducing golf to your child… but the #1 truism is that if you child doesn’t have fun… they will not play the game. Thus, you the parent control the outcome… either your child will have the desire to play golf for a lifetime or they will eventually burn and lose their desire to play the game.

For me, I have gone full circle. Being a coach’s son, I understand the desire for your child to be “excellent”… but sometimes, in the quest to see your child excel, this “excellent mindset” can have unintended results. I wrote this blog to share some of my lessons learned as you navigate your own personal journey…. I hope it adds some value.

You the Parent

Parents can be their worst enemy in introducing their child if they lose perspective of their role… introducing and sharing the game of golf to their child. The true gift of golf will be best learned if parents have a long term perspective and recognize that hitting the ball perfect at the age of 6 matters less than their child developing a passion for the game. Some of my best practices:

  • Playing the role of Parent and Coach is difficult. Parents should regard their role as creating joyous experiences. When a parent shift from being a “hard-ass coach”, wearing their child out with each swing of the club – the relationship will quickly erode. Focus on your child leaving the golf course with a smile… a positive impression of having fun and spending time with their parent.
  • Know the Line. Every child is different. “The Line” when a child and parent get together is a moving target (for sure daily… and sometimes hourly). As a Parent-Coach, the line is when the coach goes too far when teaching their child (they cross the line) and the child has a negative experience (when they really need the tenderness of a parent). For a parent, it is paramount to always seek to take inventory of where the line is… and be aware not to cross it. Said differently, sometimes hugs are more important that swing tips.
  • Knowing when to Transition. At some point, if your child continues to enjoy playing the game of golf, you will want to introduce a PGA golf professional to assist both you and your child. The PGA professional will assist you being able to focus more on the role of the parent and they will transition to being your child’s coach.

At the end of the day, “the gift of golf” is what I refer to as the “golf endorphins” … the joy that rushes through your body when you get to spend quality time with your children. Golf is a game that you and your child can enjoy for a lifetime. This fruit from golf is 100X more important than your child being the next Tiger Woods or even making that 3 foot putt. Keep things in perspective…

Enjoy the experience.

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