Many parents see the explosion of golf at the junior level but do not have a roadmap or any idea of how to get their “Tiger” or “Annika” to that “next level”. Parents who are interested in introducing golf to their children should take them to the range or course when they play or practice. At an early age, 4-6 you can let the youngster have a plastic club or a lightweight junior club to just “bang away” at the ball. No instruction is needed. Let the child experiment and have FUN. Fun is the key word for youngsters. If they are not having fun and the parents are too serious about their performance, the child will lose interest rather quickly. The child will have a tendency to watch mom or dad, brother or sister, hit balls and then will try to imitate their motion. Children learn rather quickly and can advance much sooner than adults.
As the child advances and shows an interest, it is time to find a coach who is good at working and developing young players. It is important to find a coach who has a history of success with players who have become accomplished in their game. This might be at the junior, college or professional level. The successful coach will charge more for the instruction and you, in turn, should expect that your child will improve, providing the student is putting in the necessary practice time that is required to become an “elite” player.
Once the youngster becomes familiar with playing on the course, the parent and coach should introduce competition into the equation. Once the young golfer experiences the excitement of competing in a golf tournament with children of their age and ability, they will quickly show more interest in practice and commitment to their game. You as a parent, and the youngster as a player, will find great enjoyment in the journey ahead in the wonderful world of golf.
To those children and parents looking for more information on this subject you should seek out a book titled , Journey to Excellence, (the Young Golfer’s Complete Guide to Achievement and Personal (Growth) written by Henry Brunton. I highly recommend this book as it will lay out the roadmap on how to prepare your child for the journey ahead. Good luck, and enjoy the journey.