How to Make Golf Fun for Kids: Essential Tips for Parents

Golf offers countless benefits for children, both mentally and physically. However, keeping young children interested can be challenging. In this blog post, you’ll discover effective strategies to maintain your child’s motivation and ensure that the game of golf remains fun and engaging. These are the very same strategies I've used over the last four years to nurture my daughter’s interest in golf.

1. Keep practise fun

Adults might benefit from repetitive drills, but for kids, variety is key. Children have short attention spans (my 8-year-old has certainly taught me this), so keep practise lively and varied. Set up mini-competitions like who can sink the most putts from 10 feet or pitch closest to the pin from 25 yards. These challenges not only make practise enjoyable but also help develop a well-rounded set of golf skills in a semi-competitive environment.

2. Invest in high-quality equipment

Using old or unsuitable equipment can reduce your child’s enjoyment. Invest in golf clubs designed specifically for your child’s age and height. Junior golf clubs are lighter and easier to handle. For example, after switching to Golphin Girl’s junior clubs specifically designed for my daughter’s height and age, her enjoyment of golf soared, so much so that she began frequently asking me to take her to the golf course. Playing with the correct equipment helps them hit the ball more often, boosting their confidence and encouraging continuous improvement.

To make things even more fun for your child, consider adding fun accessories like colourful golf balls (use code ‘ANDYSGOLFBLOG’ for 10% off, gloves, funky headcovers, and tees to their bag. 

3. Set Realistic Goals

Goal setting is a great way to aid development and track your child’s progress on the golf course. However, goals should always be realistic and achievable to allow your child to experience and build on successes, become more confident and encourage them to strive for improvement. Always celebrate successes, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, and don’t be too hard on them nor allow them to be too hard on themselves if a goal is not achieved. Equally, remind your child that they will fail from time to time and that this is okay and all part of the learning process.

4. Explore social opportunties

Whilst taking your child out on the golf course or to the driving range with you is no doubt enjoyable for you both, allowing them to socialise with other junior golfers might help make the game of golf more exciting, fun and less intimidating for them. Many golf clubs have established junior sections with regular coaching programmes and competitions, which might appeal to older junior golfers or those who have been playing for a longer period.

If your child is too young to go out on their own or perhaps not yet ready to play competitively, check to see if your club runs group coaching sessions for children. These sessions, often led by the club’s professional or volunteers during school holidays are usually informal, light-hearted and always fun. Not only will your child learn the basics of golf but they’ll also learn important life skills such as teamwork, communication and sportsmanship along the way, and they’re usually considerably cheaper than childcare. They might even allow you to play a few holes yourself at the same time!

5. Be a good role model

Your child will no doubt look up to you as their role model. Take them to the golf course with you, play a few holes together, and share your love of the game with them. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude will likely rub off on them and help them to develop a similar interest and passion for the game of golf as you have. A trip to the golf course with your child also provides the perfect opportunity to teach them basic golf etiquette and on-course safety such as bunker raking, staying quiet when others are playing their shots, repairing pitch marks and shouting ‘FORE’ when young and willing to learn.

6. Emphasise the Enjoyment of the Game

It’s important to keep reminding your child that the primary goal of playing golf just like any other sport or hobby is to have fun. Sadly, this is something that many adult golfers seem to forget themselves. Encouraging your child to view golf as a game that’s enjoyable and not worth getting upset or stressed out over will not only help increase their chances of enjoying golf but will also make it more enjoyable for their future playing partners. There’s no doubt in my mind that having a positive attitude on the golf course helps golfers play better golf and shoot better scores – well, it does for me anyway. 

7. Mix thingS up

In the same way that you probably get bored playing the same golf course every week, your child will likely become a little bored playing or practising in the same environment too, especially if they are very young. Try playing different holes or courses, or visit new driving ranges where possible. Visiting facilities like TopTracer driving ranges, and Topgolf, or swapping the practise putting green for mini-golf can be a quick win that will add an element of adventure and make golf feel like more of a fun activity rather than a chore for your child.

8. Encourage Creative Play

Allow your child to use their imagination whilst playing golf. Instead of spending hours on end chipping from the same spot at the edge of the green, try adding an extra level of difficulty by setting up scenarios like chipping over bunkers, playing flop shots with lower lofted clubs or putting with their eyes closed. Creative play will help them to see shots differently, cope with difficult scenarios or pressure situations, and learn how to play a range of shots with different clubs – all whilst keeping things fun.

9. Praise Effort, Not Just the outcome

Rather than focusing too much on the outcome, praise the effort your child puts into the game or their practise. If your child shows dedication, good practise habits and a willingness to learn then be sure to recognise this and reward accordingly. In doing so, you’ll help them to develop a growth mindset and build resilience – two incredibly valuable traits that will help them navigate challenges both on and off the golf course.

10. Be positive

Where possible, as you should with anything you do with your child, golf or otherwise, try to create a positive environment for them to thrive in. Rather than being critical of them when they make mistakes, offer constructive feedback and be sure to celebrate achievements. This will help them feel supported and encouraged, helping not only to get them best out of them but help them to enjoy the wonderful sport that is golf for the rest of their days.

By implementing these strategies, you can help keep your child motivated and engaged on the golf course, ensuring that they continue to enjoy and grow in the game of golf. Remember, don’t try and live your failed golf dream through your child or force them to enjoy golf if they’re not – all that will happen is that they’ll quickly lose enjoyment and give up.

If your child hasn’t yet started playing golf but you’d like to learn how to gently introduce them, check out my How to help your child get into golf: 10 top tips for success as golfing parents post.

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