Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Golf Basics For Kids

When teaching golf to kids, FUN is the name of the game. Throw in all the technical jargon at the beginning and you will effectively kill a child's desire to learn. Allow a child to "play" golf for enjoyment, and he'll become a life-long convert of the game!

Hours of practice will only overwhelm a child, so just allow him or her to practice a little bit at first, say 30 minutes. This will keep motivation for practice high.

And it's okay to let them start by hitting the ball hard. That's part of the fun! Don't worry about their grip right off the bat. Just have them keep the right hand under the left and then swing away!

I'd also make sure the child keeps his or her feet on the ground while following through.

Now, if you want to buy a child's set of clubs, that's fine, but you're likely to do just as well with a used set of women's clubs. They're lighter and nice for kids. All you need is a women's 9 iron, a 6 iron, 3-wood and a putter.

Let your child start out with little chipping and putting games. This play will help him or her get the feel for the club and the ball. Kids can bounce the ball off the face of a wedge and try hitting leaves or twigs.

Little contests and games keep motivation high. Avoid pressure or competition early on. You want your child to enjoy the game and want to play it every chance they get, not end up so confused and unfocused that they can't figure out what to do and just quit in frustration.

If you're encouraging, your child will love for you to play alongside of them. Just don't start demanding wins and emphasizing competition, or you'll pop the enthusiasm really fast.

Children will move along as they're ready. Letting them progress at their own pace prevents future burnout. Never make a child play the game, unless he wants to. The game should be fun, and a simple joy. Laugh and have a blast yourself!

If your child's interest increases, you might consider golf camp or some private lessons with someone experienced in teaching children. If you do seek a personal instructor for your child, watch how the person teaches first. You really want an encouraging person with a knack for teaching kids.

Also, please remember to teach your child the etiquette of golf. Little things are very important, like: Don't talk while someone else is swinging. Don't step in front of someone while they're swinging. Stand still. Don't walk in front of someone else's line or through line.

Finally, never criticize. Praise their shots and swings. Encourage them to correct certain moves, but don't dwell on what was done incorrectly.

If you concentrate on the most important aspects of golf "the enjoyment and the basics" you may end up with a child who rivals you on the range and who enjoys a lifelong love for the game.

About the author: Steve Johnson is writes on a large variety of subjects and topics. Currently Steve is involved in the new IPTV industry that promises to revolutionize the way you watch TV.

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