As golf becomes a world game, children are getting more and more involved in the sport. From a young age, kids from all corners of the globe are working on their craft in hopes of finding consistent success on the links well into their future. The increasing involvement amongst our youth is why golf will continue soaring to new heights.
The issue, though, is that golf is extremely challenging. It can also be incredibly frustrating. Due to the precision and exactness required to succeed in the sport, young players need a solid foundation under them when learning the game.
Below are certain ideas that should be incorporated in any young golfer's early career. Starting them off on the right foot can and will lead to a longer and more fun career on the course.
Surround them with the right equipment
Golf is a sport that takes more than skill. A player that has fundamental swing mechanics and proper stance may not succeed to the desired level if they don't have adequate equipment. Whether they're focusing on clubs, no-slip golf shoes or even a bag that has even weight distribution for the person carrying it, it matters. This is even more critical when children are learning the game of golf. Having the right gear promotes performance while also reducing strain on the participant's body. Some equipment ideas to strongly consider when introducing young players to the sport:
- Every young golfer should have no-slip shoes. This not only prevents lower extremity injury, but it helps satisfy course dress code and also helps them avoid losing their footing during play. It's nearly impossible to find a consistent rhythm on the course with any slippage.
- A young golfer needs to have the right clubs. If it's a really young golfer we're talking about (aged 3-5), it's probably best to start with a plastic club. They make these with oversized heads as well. This is a nice way to ease a child into the sport, as it caters to ball strike success. If it's an older child or teenager, simply finding them a set of clubs that suits them will suffice. Size, design and condition of the clubs matter here.
Critical: These are just a couple examples of how equipment can influence a child's development track in golf. Every young player is unique, but having the right equipment is part of a solid foundation for an early career. Having the right shoes and clubs is a proven starting point.
Involve them in diverse activities.
Golf is a sport that is vastly underrated in society and the media with regards to physicality. It's a tough sport on the body, and when children are involved, this can be an issue. As young people are still maturing and experiencing growth spurts of all shapes and sizes, the repetitive motions in golf can take a toll. One way to mitigate this is to ensure children are using all muscle groups in a wide variety of sports and activities. Some quick ones to consider:
- Swimming is an excellent complementary activity to golf. For one, it increases flexibility. It also strengthens the small muscles around the major joints used in golf (shoulders, knees and wrists) and also contributes to core conditioning.
- Track and field helps train lower and upper body muscles for the demands of frequent golf play.
- General sports like football, basketball and soccer enable a young person to mature and further develop hand eye coordination that is relied upon heavily in golf.
Critical: The muscles utilized in golf are diverse and wide-ranging. Many people naively think that golf is simply swinging a club. It's more than that. With children, this needs to be understood from an early age. Injuries happen when our bodies aren't prepared.
There are many ways to seamlessly introduce children to the wide world of golf. Like anything, it takes patience and persistence. These are just some ideas to help get them where they need to be for success. From there, they'll find the true meaning of the sport.
Scott McCormick writes about Houston Golf Courses and the best places to stay in Texas.