Youth Golf: Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: How can I get my child interested in golf?
A: A great way to get your kids started is to have a toy golf club and ball available for them from an early age (2-4 years). Kids generally want to copy their parent’s actions and will quickly catch on and try to hit the ball if they see you having fun. A toy set makes for an easy transition to a junior club once they show real interest and moderate success with their toy equipment.
When your child is older, purchase an iron (like a 7-iron) and putter to use as their first clubs. Let them whack practice balls around the back yard and visit a putting green with you on occasion. Once their interest level seems intense enough, pay a visit to a golf professional for some formal education.
One of my clients regularly brought his 4-year old son in with him to lessons. The child was nervous and a bit shy when it came to actually trying to hit shots, so we did not force anything until he was ready – although he did always have the opportunity. Sure enough, one day he thought it would be cool to see himself on the video screen, and he jumped at the chance to hit a few shots. We filmed him and saved some of his swings to his father’s weblesson. He eventually began to ask if he could practice with Dad in the back yard.
FAQ: What’s an appropriate age to start golf instruction?
A: Formal golf instruction can begin somewhere between ages 4-7, depending on individual child’s maturity and physical development.
FAQ: Is it important for my child to have specialized equipment?
A: Yes! A “cut-down” club is definitely not appropriate, as they are generally too heavy and stiff for a younger golfer. There are plenty of affordable junior specific clubs that are light enough for the underdeveloped musculature of a kid, and flexible enough for the slower swing speeds.
Junior clubs have many size/age ranges to choose from, so it’s easy to find a club that is a perfect fit for your child. Appropriate club length and grip size also allow the junior to develop an effective grip and athletic posture, thus helping to avoid poor habits right from the beginning.
GolfTEC has day-camps for young golfers in the Pittsburgh area. Visit us at http://golftec.com/learningcenters/storepage.html?storenumber=332 or call 412-564-9029 for information.