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Billsy

Getting your kids to play

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All -

I am proud to say that both my kids grew up playing this great game. 

Many asked how I started and how they stuck with it. 

The key was fun and not pushing. 

Here is how I got them started. 

I took them to the course and just let them swing any club. They missed constantly. I gave them a few tips to see if they made contact. Once they hit the ball the first time, they were hooked! 

I am not a tiger dad and neither is my wife. In fact, my wife does not play. 

Please let me know if anyone is interested in these tips for their kids or grandkids. 

 

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I'm trying to get my wife to play, trying to figure out how to.  She likes to putt and now I'm trying to convince her to chip. We'll see what happens.

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I followed Johnny Miller's advice, which seems similar to yours.

I took my kid to the golf course and made sure she had fun. If she wanted to drive the cart, she drove the cart. If she wanted to look for fish or frogs, or chase the geese, we did that. If she wanted to play in the bunker, I'd let her (then rake it). If she wanted to take a break and play on her phone, she did that.

This associated "golf course" with "fun."

Eventually, of course, she has clubs with her, and she'll want to hit some. Sometimes it would be putts. Sometimes drivers. Sometimes bunker shots.

Just make sure they associate "fun" with "going to the golf course" and they'll hook themselves eventually. Or not, in which case… it's not for them. But they probably will. :-)

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I let my daughters, my grand kids, and even my wife start out putting when they tagged along with me. 

The idea was for them to start on the green some where, and with their putter hole out in fewer strokes than it took me from the tee box. It was a competition fun game of sorts. 

Once they could beat me to the hole out with their putter,  I had them move off the green some where with a wedge, and continue our game from there.  

This scenario made it fun for both them, and Myself. It was a backwards learning progression of the game for them. 

I now have a 12 year old Grand daughter causing me some pressure from the 200 yard marker. Problem is she likes playing basketball better. Her reason for golfing is that she just likes "hanging with G-Pa". That, or maybe the visit to the ice cream place afterwards......

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My Dad took up golf late in life at the urging of my Uncles from my Mom's side of the family. They were all from western PA., and since this was the early 60's, you can guess why.

My Dad just left some old clubs and balls laying around in the garage. Next thing you know I dug a hole in the back yard and started chipping to it. And some of those old clubs were hickory shafted, with wrapped leather grips, and had strange names like "Niblick" and "Mashie"! God how I wish I had saved those old clubs!

Eventually, I began wondering what taking a "big" swing would do. What it did was rifle a crisp low iron shot through Mr. Ross's garage window! I got in trouble for it, but not too much. I had to do some chores for Mr. Ross to pay him back for his window, but the main upshot of the whole deal was that he told my Dad that it seemed like I wanted to play.

So, they started taking me out to show me what the game was all about. And I've been hooked for 50 years!

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12 hours ago, Patch said:

I let my daughters, my grand kids, and even my wife start out putting when they tagged along with me. 

The idea was for them to start on the green some where, and with their putter hole out in fewer strokes than it took me from the tee box. It was a competition fun game of sorts. 

Once they could beat me to the hole out with their putter,  I had them move off the green some where with a wedge, and continue our game from there.  

This scenario made it fun for both them, and Myself. It was a backwards learning progression of the game for them. 

I now have a 12 year old Grand daughter causing me some pressure from the 200 yard marker. Problem is she likes playing basketball better. Her reason for golfing is that she just likes "hanging with G-Pa". That, or maybe the visit to the ice cream place afterwards......

Exactly what I was thinking with my wife. I think its a great way to hang and have fun with the kids or wife, and get them interested. 

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I need to do more of this. These are great tips, thank you for sharing. So far I have taken my kids to the range with me which they don't seem to enjoy all that much. I need to get them out on the course and having fun. 

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On 8/8/2017 at 5:06 AM, Billsy said:

All -

I am proud to say that both my kids grew up playing this great game. 

Many asked how I started and how they stuck with it. 

The key was fun and not pushing. 

Here is how I got them started. 

I took them to the course and just let them swing any club. They missed constantly. I gave them a few tips to see if they made contact. Once they hit the ball the first time, they were hooked! 

I am not a tiger dad and neither is my wife. In fact, my wife does not play. 

Please let me know if anyone is interested in these tips for their kids or grandkids.

That's great.

I'm kind of the opposite, though. My kids introduced me to the game and I missed constantly and they gave me a few tips to see if I could make contact. Once I could make some contact, I was hooked on figuring out this stupid game that should have been much easier than it was. . .Same for my wife. . . :-D

 

10 minutes ago, Braivo said:

I need to do more of this. These are great tips, thank you for sharing. So far I have taken my kids to the range with me which they don't seem to enjoy all that much. I need to get them out on the course and having fun. 

We took them on local par 3 courses at times when it was not too crowded. This cuts down on potential interactions with "serious" golfers. You only have to have one bad experience and the kids won't want to go again.

My kids enjoy this game and will likely continue to play for the rest of their lives. Although, not at certain courses we went where there were less than desirable interactions. . .

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As of today, my oldest is playing club golf and squash at PSU and my son made varsity golf as a sophomore in high school. 

There is nothing better than a multi generational game - my dad, myself and my kids!

 

 

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My 4 year old comes to the range with me. He has his own little driver, hybrid, 7i, Sw and putter.

He normally just uses his Driver and hybrid hitting off a tee. I love it. We share a bucket of balls and i just let him hit balls how he wants. I think at that age trying to tell them or show them how to do it doesnt really work. If they have fun hitting balls then thats the main point.

Next will be chipping in the park once i get a chiping net, then maybe putting (nervous about him taking a chunk out of the green as he cant get his head around a small stroked for putting)

 

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Was finishing up early yesterday afternoon at the old home courses and noticed the par-3 was absolutely over-run with kids and their parents. Not sure if this is First Tee or not, but whatever program that is has a bunch of the little ones out.

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That is great!

Courses need to find ways to get kids to play.

Golf has a chance to grow if sports like football prove too violent or dangerous for kids.

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Kids now have it great. When I was growing up in the 70s, most courses around here wouldn't let kids play. When we'd go out I'd pull one of my parent's carts and after the first hole, my dad would throw me a ball and I'd have to use my mom's clubs since they were shorter. Now there are kid's clubs out there that cost more than my sets.

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Interesting topic. 

I got my 14m old started a month or so back with plastic clubs. He instantly picked up that he was meant to hit the balls with the club head :)

We're just having the backyard landscaped (fortunate enough to own a big plot without neighbours) so there should be plenty of practice areas for putting, driving and chipping as he grows up, should he take an interest. 

Good comments above about ensuring that it's fun for them - I'll add to that playing in front of them, which I think can often spark the curiosity.

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I have a 6 year old who quite likes putting and chipping when he gets to the range, but getting him there seems like I am torturing him. Not sure If i should lay off and just not encourage him at this point. He's got a decent little swing but looking out for ideas to make it something he asks for more. A way to make it more fun.

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The best advice for young kids is to lay off. Take the 6 year old to the golf course and let them hit balls into the water for the splash. Let them laugh and most importantly show them you can laugh. 

Then they will get the bug.

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