7 Tips For Golfing With Young Children

shutterstock_321927995The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the Bermuda grass is greening up and you have the itch to hit the links! Hmmmm, but your kids are tracked out or maybe not even in school yet and you’re not quite sure what to do. Do what I do – take them with you! Here are some tips from my own personal experience on how to have a great day on the golf course with your kids and maybe even plant a seed for the love of the sport.

1. Make golf a special family outing! Pump the kids up. Present the outing as a real treat and let them know that they are being allowed to hang out with grown-ups and that they need to be on their best behavior. This is a perfect time to teach that golf is just as much about manners on the course as it is about how far you hit the ball or your score.

2. Buy them a sprite or a coke and a bag of chips or something you normally don’t let them have and let them take it in the cart with them. I think my kids get just as excited about their little treats as they do about golf. They love going to the counter and placing their orders like grown ups. It reinforces the whole “this is special” idea and sets a great tone for the day.

3. Don’t expect to play your best round or even play well. They will, I repeat, they WILL talk in your back swing. Just relax and remember that this is family time and don’t worry too much about your score. The irony of this approach is that it actually might help you score better than usual. I hit five greens in regulation in a row the other day simply because I chilled out and enjoyed time with my son and wasn’t overthinking the game.

4. Let faster golfers play through. Don’t rush the kids and get tense if a cart pulls up behind you, just let the other golfers go ahead of you and use the time to teach the kids some golf terminology or rules.

5. Young Children aren’t going to hit the ball very far and that’s okay. They don’t have to finish every hole or any hole for that matter. Let them hit off the tee and maybe hit a second shot if they hit a good first one, but don’t be afraid to have them pick up and drop the ball on the green for a putt.shutterstock_58575100

6. If you take a cart, please be sure to (a) ensure they don’t fall out while you’re driving (I hold on to them and stay on the cart paths) (b) take the key with you when you’re at the tee (ahem … personal experience here) and (c) park behind the tee box to avoid hospital runs due to “less than perfect” shots off the tee. Teach them to always stay well behind the person hitting the ball.

7. Finally, make sure to compliment them and give lots of high fives and other praise for good shots, good effort and most importantly good golf behavior!! My son already knows how to do a little fist pump when he makes his putts, takes the ones he doesn’t make in stride and knows to take his putter with him to the green. Having a positive on-course experience will encourage a love of golf that you can bond through for years to come and your good example will help them with their all important mental game later in life!

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Author: Jennifer Bennington

Jennifer Bennington is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and a freelance writer living in the Triangle with her husband, two children and two beautiful Shelties Originally from California, she has enjoyed exploring and discovering the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area and loves sharing "Tips" from the place she proudly calls home. www.jenniferbennington.com; jennifer.Bennington@BHHSYSU.com

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