Running the local municipal golf school is one of the highlights of my week, every Saturday morning a bunch of kids come to the driving range to learn how to play the game of golf.
It is fantastic to see their faces and the desire they have to play.
But I regularly get asked at what age can a child begin to play golf?
This is always a tricky question to answer as it depends on each individual child and their ability to concentrate and listen and the physical strength that they have.
Many parents, especially golfing parents want their children to begin as early as possible and refer to stories of famous golfers having began swinging a golf club before they could walk. This is all well and good but there are other aspects that you need to consider before packing your child off to the local golf school.
You must consider whether the child wants to play golf, you should talk with them and possibly take them down to the golf course with you for a few holes, so that they can walk the golf and get an idea of the game to see if it sparks any interest.
If your child has shown an interest in the game and ask s to go play then you should definitely consider taking your child to your local professional or golf school.
I strongly recommend that you do not try and teach them yourself, this is more likely to kill any interest that they have. A good professional will nurture the interest and provide a solid foundation on which the child can build.
Secondly you need to consider the amount of time that your child will be able to concentrate for. If you are considering sending your child for individual lessons that you really need to consider various factors:
1 – Lesson time – How long should the lesson be, a child can get easily bored when in a one to one lesson so this should be a major consideration, especially for younger children.
2 – Time of the lesson – When is your child at their most aware. Some children do not like to get up early. If you are considering sending your child to golf lessons during the holiday period then consider the time that the child will be going to bed and when they wake, a child is less receptive when they are tired, so going to bed late and then having to get up early to go to a golf lesson is not a good recipe.
3 – Frequency of lessons – The lesson frequency needs to be carefully considered. Will you be willing to take your child down to the driving range away from the lessons so that they can practice? Do you want to be tied down to a lesson every single week? Does your child want to do a lesson each week or would they prefer to go when they have the urge to?
I honestly believe that younger children should not be put into individual lessons of more than 30 minutes as any longer can be monotonous and boring. The lessons should always be dynamic and interesting, and although that is down to the professional it can be very difficult to motivate a child when they have had enough.
When the child has reached a certain level and wants to progress further than individual lessons are the way to go, but in the beginning I cannot highly recommend the benefits of a child joining a golf school.
Above all the decision as to whether a child wants to try golf has to be down to the child and as a professional I urge parents to show an interest in what their child is doing, but not to interfere. You should be there to support your child and leave the teaching down to the qualified professional.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor