I have many fond memories of my parents, brother and I playing a round of golf together every Sunday afternoon at 2:04pm. We used this time to reconnect, laugh and plan our next week’s activities. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now that I am a parent those were times I will always cherish.
As a parent of 3 young children, I am always looking for ways to share quality time with my kids, off the grid. This is the first year they are old enough to venture out on the course, and I couldn’t be happier. They may not share my passion for the game, and that is ok. I want them to experience what I did as a kid and always remember spending time with their mom, dad and each other.
Getting your kids into golf doesn’t need to be a huge investment. In fact, most green fees at your local course are offered at a discount for kids and are very affordable compared to other sports.
Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for Parents:
Do: Get your kids properly fitted clubs. This means they are lightweight and the correct length. This will help your child develop a “swing” and not a “chop”. You can look for complete sets, but they only need a few clubs to get started.
Do: Play on shorter courses. The course needs to be suitable for your child’s skill level. Staring down from the tee to a 400 yard Par 4 will seem impossible to your new golfer. Check out a Par 3 in your area where holes will be shorter.
Do: Teach them about proper etiquette and dress code. The traditions and history of the game are just as important as the technique. Knowing how to conduct oneself on the course is important and can be carried on to other parts of your life. Introduction to the rules can be done over time.
Don’t: Rush them! Your young golfer will walk slow, swing more times and even look for frogs and ducks. Let them explore. Pick a quiet time to head to the course -late evenings, or after 3pm on weekends are normally good times to play.
Don’t: Introduce competition too soon. Take an active role in teaching them the basics of technique and let them develop at their own pace. Introduce professional instruction along the way and they will enjoy learning in a group setting with friends. Remember sport should always be fun.
Don’t: Say no to a game. Schedule your golf game like you would anything else. If you are pressed for time, play only a few holes and if you aren’t a golfer you can always walk with them. Time spent together is what counts.
Even though my family is living in different provinces, we have a healthy relationship and I have golf to thank for bringing us closer.
Funny, I can’t tell you what my favourite toy was as a child, but I still remember the moment and look on my dad’s face when I hit the ball farther than him!
Thank you Mom and Dad.