Introducing Kids to the Game of Golf.

What advice would Mr. Harvey Penick have to grow the game of golf

I am not a professional golfer and I am not a PGA member, but a father that loves the game of golf.  The imprint golf has made on my life has come full circle.  Now, I have two young children that are learning the game and my appreciation for the game of golf – specifically it has less to do about “golf” but more about things like teaching core values, spending quality family time, building special memories and teaching a game that will be add much fruit into my kids throughout their adult years.

My dad, who didn’t play golf (at least very well), quickly realized that I needed proper instruction.   I was fortunate to be taught the fundamentals of the game by Harvey Penick, who was the head golf professional at Austin Country Club.  Mr. Penick, who became internationally recognized as the author of The Little Red Book, was more than a golf instructor, but a life coach, philosopher, mentor, trusted advisor and an individual that truly cared about his “pupils” love for the game of golf.

Mr. Penick was special teacher and made an imprint on my life for a number of reasons; when I reflect on is teaching I appreciate his ability to build a special bond with his students – both young and old.  For me as an Adult, I have a stronger appreciation for his ability to communicate with his “beginning students.”  What jumps out to me was he that he:

  • Always made it fun
  • Always  was positive and patient with his communication
  • Taught by “feel” – understood the power words to “paint pictures” to get the muscles to respond
  • Immediately instilled confidence in his students through the passion of his teaching
  • He never charged me a penny for years of lessons – which made the economics work for a young child

Mr. Penick certainly was a “1 in a 1,000,000” teacher; I am beyond blessed to learn the game from him.  He was responsible for my “planting – learn – play” – introducing me to the game, teaching me the fundamentals and developing my confidence to play.

It has been 20 years or so since my last lesson with Mr. Penick, but I think we can all learn something from his golf and life wisdom.  I hope this blog serves as some inspiration to grow the game and make an imprint on another youngsters life.  This is a great video I found that gives you a little insight into his tenderness as a teacher.

Golf needs more “Mr. Penick’s” in the game of golf.

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