Advice on how much to teach a brand new junior golfer
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My son is 5 now and in the last several months, he's been interested in going to the range with me. I don't know if its right or wrong, but I've spent no time trying to teach him. Other than, reminding him to look at the ball and not move his feet around mid-swing. ;)
I figure that once he's interested in actually learning stuff he'll let me know. Then again, maybe that's the wrong approach and I'm going to let him develop bad habits first.
Let him enjoy just knocking them around and focus the teaching aspect on the rules and etiquette of the game. If he gets frustrated in you teaching him proper technique you risk driving him away. Let him start to get frustrated on hitting bad shots during his actual rounds and then maybe offer to teach him technique to cure the new frustration. Also, at that point it might be a good idea to suggest getting him lessons from someone else. You might give him the same pointers as someone else would, but he might be more willing to accept those pointers from someone other than "dad" because as we all know in a lot of kid's eyes at that age "parents don't know anything." lol
Having raised one golfer and now, with another 8 yr old son, I'd let him have fun. Most children can't focus on too much instruction from a parent.
I ask him if he wants to hit it in the air like Dad, and when they say "yes" I use one of these hints.
I give it the 30 seconds of turn and turn, weight on front foot, and look at the ball when you hit it. I also say a thing or two about aim, and how to do it. Just be gentle, patient, and quick. I do a few trick shots with him to make it fun. I put two balls together and hit a lob wedge - one ball goes straight up in the air and he tries to catch it. They also like putting or chipping contests. Ask them if they want to beat you and if they say "yes", that might be a quick opportunity for 30 seconds of instruction. Make it quick, make it fun.
Pretty sure I heard somewhere though that kids have an advantage learning a proper swing when young because of the lack of muscle mass in the arms so they can learn to swing easier without their arms taking over. Or something like that.
One more for just let him swing away. If he enjoys it enough, he will start to ask. And I wouldn't worry too much about him developing bad habits, kids can make habit changes rather quickly.
I have coached my son in three different high schools sports. Golf is the only one I can still beat him at and nothing pisses him off more than me trying to correct something on the golf course. So I just enjoy the time being with my son.