Kids can start taking golf lessons around the same time they can learn how to walk — the legendary Tiger Woods could swing a club effectively as a toddler. Ultimately, kids should start taking lessons as soon as they become interested in the sport. This will ensure they get a good baseline of fundamentals.
Still, knowing when the best time is to have your child start taking lessons can be challenging. Golf is filled with various moving parts that demand close instruction. If you’re able to teach your child the right way to play, it can set them up for years of success.
Below, we’ll take a look at the best age for kids to start taking golf lessons, as well as the benefits of lessons and signs that it’s time to find an instructor.
Though there is no ideal age for kids to start taking lessons, it’s best to have them start when they begin taking the game a bit more seriously. Many instructors teach a minimum age of around 5 years old, though this could be a flexible range that can swing lower if a child is showing a lot of interest at a younger age.
Lessons at young ages like 5 could teach basic fundamentals and qualities like sportsmanship. But more thorough instruction programs in the early teen years can help break down the game and allow for vast improvements in the mechanics of their swing. It will mostly depend on how dedicated your child is and if they’re ready to take that next step with lessons.
Here’s a breakdown of the various ages and how they may benefit from golf lessons.
At this age, golf should act as more of a playful endeavor than a serious sport. Great success usually comes with a sort of playfulness with your craft, so it’s important to introduce the game with fun and relaxation attached to it. Children can be introduced to various clubs and the most basic rules of the game.
Although golf is quite a complex game, many children will likely be able to grasp a lot of the more fundamental aspects. You can even create small replica holes where kids can practice hitting a ball toward the target. This action will mirror the larger game and help them get a feel for how to aim and swing.
At this age, lessons will likely be very basic and be geared more toward playfulness. This quality is important, as too much serious, complex instruction can turn younger kids off. The right instructors can emphasize fun and allow kids to learn the game in their own way and on their own time. This method lets kids truly discover the game on their own without being forced to learn it.
This is a great range to get your child involved in golf lessons. Starting this early can help feed their interest in the game while also helping them out with basic mechanics. At this age, many kids can follow instructions and understand the various intricacies of the game. Kids will be able to understand fundamentals and develop the basics before they pick up bad habits, like improper grip or swing techniques.
While individual lessons can work great here, kids can also benefit from group lessons. Many programs take kids out on the course to play actual rounds, which is one of the best ways kids can learn how to play.
Out on the course, kids can learn about golf etiquette and how to play the game with others. Though golf is an independent sport, much of it is social. Kids can learn about:
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At this age, kids may begin to show clear interest in golf. It may help to have a talk with them and see if they’re willing to pursue this sport more seriously. Around this time, kids may be playing a variety of different sports and be starting to lean into those that they like or are good at. If golf is one of those, lessons at this age can be very rewarding.
Junior golf lessons will help kids take that next step to improve their swing. During this time, kids may graduate from using kids clubs to adult clubs. An instructor can help a child make this transition smoothly and show them how to evolve in their game.
As preteens and young teenagers, kids in this age group will also grow a lot, which means there will likely need to be various tweaks to their swing. Experienced instructors will help make these adjustments while still teaching the fundamentals to propel kids to the next step, whether that be golf clubs, programs or academies.
At ages 11 to 14, kids may be developing a sharper focus for the game and can benefit greatly from junior lessons.
For kids ages 15 and over, golf lessons become even more integral and beneficial. At this stage, your child will likely have made a commitment to the game and may even be playing on a competitive team at school. Individual golf lessons can be instrumental in allowing your child to become even better at the game.
A lot of golf is about confidence, understanding what you’re doing wrong and seeing how you can improve your game. Golf instructors can help kids understand what they need to do to become better golfers. A lot of golf revolves around putting the time in and practicing, but it also involves identifying small intricacies in your swing that are keeping you from shooting better scores.
Finding out what those small issues are can help your child improve and also allow them to enjoy the game with greater confidence. For kids who are 15 years or older, golf lessons are essential. If you’ve started your child in lessons early, they may even already have a trusted instructor who knows their swing and can work to improve it.
To know when it’s the best time to get your kids into golf lessons, stay aware of a few signs:
There’s a difference between playfulness and becoming genuinely interested in the game of golf. If you notice that your child is frequently wanting to go golf or asking questions about the game, see if they’d be interested in taking lessons. Lessons can be a great way to feed this curiosity and let them learn if this is a sport they want to pursue.
For most of us, golf is a challenging sport that requires a lot of practice before we feel comfortable hitting a golf ball. Some kids, however, may have a natural knack for it and pick it up quickly. If this is the case, then lessons may be a way to harness that talent and allow kids to see what they can really do with it.
Sometimes, kids may get stuck in a rut in golf where they can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong. If they don’t know how to fix it, this frustration can turn into defeat and they may give up altogether. Lessons can help kids get out of that rut by showing them how to improve. Usually, it’s something that can be fixed with some tweaks and a little practice.
Starting golf lessons for kids early has so many advantages. The earlier they start lessons, the more comfortable and confident they’ll likely be as they progress throughout their lives. Lessons are more than just learning about the game — they also offer kids life lessons they can take with them into adulthood.
Many of us pick up golf lessons after decades of developing bad habits — one of the first things an instructor does is point out poor mechanics in our swing that we’ve likely become comfortable with. Children have an added advantage in that they probably haven’t developed these bad habits yet. Their swing is like a clean slate on which an instructor can develop a swing rooted in fundamentals.
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Golf teaches patience and focus. If you have a bad shot, you don’t have time to dwell on it and think about what went wrong because the next shot is right around the corner. You’re encouraged to keep your wits, take a deep breath and focus on what’s ahead of you. This patience is a powerful lesson that kids can learn at a very young age by playing golf.
Golf is also about responsibility. Aside from keeping track of your score, finding your ball and deciding what club to choose, golf is also a very independent game. Instead of a team sport, which spreads responsibility to an entire team, golf hangs accountability on one person — whoever swung the club. As a golfer, you have to take responsibility for good shots and bad ones.
Interestingly, golf also teaches us how to control our emotions. Especially in lessons, kids may often hit many bad shots and battle through frustration. A lot of golf is about controlling that frustration and knowing how to use it as energy in the next shot. Part of becoming a great golf player is learning how to manage those bad shots and moving on to focus on the next one, which can help kids develop emotional intelligence.
Whether you’re walking the course or in a cart, golf is great exercise. You’re outside getting fresh air and stretching, using nearly every part of your body to coordinate a swing that sends the golf ball flying toward your target. Golf lessons can be just as rewarding, teaching kids balance, power and control all at once.
Though it’s often thought of as just an independent game, golf is actually very social. Most of the time, people will be playing with friends, colleagues or even in tournaments with many people watching. You can make many connections on the golf course that can lead to fruitful relationships or even promotions as an adult. If you’re able to play golf comfortably, you can help forge these relationships on the course and even impress people with your skills.
Taking golf lessons at a young age can give kids a leg up on others so they’re ready when they step foot on the course as an adult. At the very least, they can make friends in their lessons they may not meet at school, expanding their social circles.
One of the best things about golf is that you can play it almost forever — many older adults continue playing as they age. It’s a non-contact sport that emphasizes fluidity of motion, meaning that injuries are rare and the physical toll on the body is minimal. Learning how to play the game early will set your child up for a lifetime of success and allow them to play one of the few sports that defies age.
With all of the benefits of golf lessons for kids, you could be looking for a way to get your child involved. One of the most important parts of golf lessons is finding the right instructor. You’ll want to find a place that offers experienced professionals who have a deep knowledge of the game. At Colonial Golf and Tennis Club, we offer what you need.
Golf is a complex game that requires an experienced instructor to help your child improve. Colonial Golf and Tennis Club has an experienced staff that offers a comprehensive Junior Golf Program designed to help kids learn the game, its history and etiquette. Your child will learn golf fundamentals and more from a PGA professional.
Kids will be able to spend time out on the course learning techniques and getting a deep feel for the game. Our instruction will also involve social aspects — building friendships with other kids, acquiring social skills and promoting friendly competition.
At Colonial Golf and Tennis Club, we offer quality instruction that can help your child flourish in all aspects of the game of golf. They’ll be able to grow as a player and as a person. Contact us today to learn more!