By Doug Hammer, Golf Contributor - Archive - Email
Golf With your Kids (Or, better yet, your Grandkids)

Play Golf with your Kids/Grandkids as much as possible.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Some of my best memories as a kid were playing golf with my Grandfather. He was an avid golfer and played nearly every day. I got to play in his usual Wednesday morning game, gambling for a dime a hole until I started winning around age 11!! I learned the most about the game during those outings however. I learned how to concentrate over every shot, how to keep score and the rules of the game. Additionally, I learned more about the game than any other person could ever teach me, and those lessons still guide me in my career today. My Grandfather was just an average golfer, not a pro by any means, but just learning the game by watching him and his buddies play (I also learned a lot about what not to do!!) helped me get to the level of golfer I am now.

Play Golf with your Kids/Grandkids as much as possible

Take your kids out to the course as often as you can. Nothing will help them get better than just getting out and playing. This does not mean dragging them along when you are out playing with your usual foursome. Get out there and let them play with you.

Have Fun!!

Make sure that golf is a fun experience. You are not Butch Harmon or Hank Haney and, most likely, your junior golfer is not the next Tiger Woods. So, take it easy and don't push too hard. If they make mistakes, tell them it is okay and show them how easy it is for you to make mistakes too!! One of the best tips I have ever heard about having fun with your kids on the course came from Johnny Miller, who said that he took is kids to the course every day, and always made it a point to leave when they are having the most fun. Because of this, his kids always wanted to go back because they associated it with a fun experience. Don't make the golf course an intimidating place, or let them get frustrated ... keep it fun!

Kids are visual learners

All kids are visual learners, especially when they are younger. If you want them to improve, watch golf with them on TV or show them an instructional video. But, the best way to help them learn is to let them watch you. This can help you improve as well. Your kids will mirror your every move on the course, so play by the rules!! Take your time and make good swings because even when you think they aren't watching you....they are!! Kids may act as if they aren't paying attention, but they usually are. Let them learn at their own pace and try to play your game like you want them to play their game. The best teacher for your you! Once they start hitting it better than you, it is time to consult your PGA professional!

Teach them to be ladies and gentlemen on the course

Golf Etiquette is the most overlooked thing when it comes to your junior golfers. We incorporate golf etiquette into all of our junior camps. Teach your kids how to care for the course, repair ball marks, rake bunkers, replace divots, etc. I see countless adults every day who do not know how to care for the course, but teaching this early creates good habits for the rest of their golf careers. Explain the simple rules, who plays first, where to stand, when to be quiet and when it is alright to talk. Talk about rules of the game, what hazards are, what to do when you hit it in the water. Write to the USGA and get a copy of the rules book and look it over with your juniors. The USGA also has a Snoopy version of the rule book, which is a lot more fun to read, for all of us!!

The bottom line is to get out there and take your kids golfing! Golf is something that will last them a lifetime. It is the one gift that they will take with them forever and always credit you for that gift. Now ... get out there and let your kids beat you on the course.

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club
p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161
10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf
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