Golf is an excellent, lifetime sport for kids to learn at a young age. It can teach them valuable self-control and etiquette skills, plus it is a fantastic sport to play as a family. I was fortunate to start playing golf at the age of 6 and in tournaments at the age of 8, eventually earning a golf scholarship as a division 1 athlete. This experience taught me many valuable life lessons that I think could benefit any kid, even if they only play for fun.
I am often asked about the best ways for parents to get their kids to love golf. The downside is that golf can be a costly sport to learn, like many lifetime sports. Fortunately, junior golf isn't just for the country club family anymore, and many programs have made youth golf more accessible in the past few years. So here are my best tips to get your kid started in golf without breaking the bank.
What are the best lessons for beginning junior golfers?
Group lessons are an excellent way for kids to learn the sport without investing in costly private lessons. Many city programs and organizations like First Tee offer reasonably priced group lessons or even free junior golf clinics. Additionally, playing with friends or peers introduces them to the social benefit of golf.
Are their junior golf rates at golf courses?
One of the best deals in golf is the Youth on the Course program. YOC is an incredible non-profit that exists to help kids gain access to the golf course. It is a small membership fee that allows kids up to 18 years old to play for $5 on many golf courses with a paying adult.
What equipment do I need to get my kid started in golf?
Golf equipment can be costly; however, limited equipment is required to get your kid started. Unfortunately, they didn't offer junior golf clubs when I was little, so my dad had to cut down women's clubs and regrip them. Thankfully, we have plenty of options available today, and most golf equipment manufacturers offer junior-sized golf clubs. I recommend these three clubs to help juniors started on the golf range:
Do I need to buy new or used clubs for junior golfers?
When my son started, I wasn't sure if he would like golf, so I found a small set on the Facebook marketplace. I also found a used golf bag at Play-It-Again sports for $5 that came with an entire bag of used balls. Kids grow out of golf clubs very quickly, so I don't recommend initially investing in a new set. Once I knew he wanted to start playing competitively, I found some better clubs at the Calloway pre-owned store - this store is an excellent option for fast-growing junior golfers who wish to advance to the next level. It is crucial to get the right fit, and I always error on the larger size so that they can use them for more than one season. Here is an excellent fitting guide from US Kids Golf.
I don't think kids need all the bells and whistles to get started. For example, I don't buy my kids golf shoes because regular tennis shoes work perfectly. Also, as long as you aren't at a private course, standard, comfortable kid clothes work perfectly for most city or public golf courses. However, my kids love all the fun colored golf balls, tees, and a good kid golf glove to prevent blisters. Of course, my daughter loves wearing her Birdie Girl Ball Marker Necklace too.
How can I get my kid to like golf?
As mentioned before, golf is an excellent sport for the entire family. However, it can be an extremely frustrating and challenging sport to master. Therefore, it is important to be patient because, most likely, they will not start out being able to play nine holes. So here are some tips for getting them to love the game:
Overall, golf is a great sport to play as a family, and as long as you keep it simple, it can be inexpensive to get them started. Remember, it is crucial to keep it fun, simple, and lighthearted.