A Quick Nine: What reason would you give a child to start playing?

Child's play
PGA of America
We received some outstanding answers when we asked: what encouragement would you give a child to get started playing golf?
T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

Series: A Quick Nine

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 | 9:29 a.m.

Now, arguably more than ever, golf is becoming a popular sport among children. Maybe it's the, "cool," factor thanks to the likes of Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson and a host of others. Maybe it's thanks to initiatives that make the game more accessible to children such as Play Golf America or the First Tee.

Whatever it is, it sure is fun to see youth on the links... It's not so much fun when you discover they're a quarter of your age and have a far better swing!

This week, we asked our PGA.com Facebook fans to answer a simple question: What encouragement/reason would you give a child to get started playing golf?

As one eloquent fan, Bob Painter, put it, "Hey kid, now that you've outgrown that car seat, want to learn how to drive?"

Love it.

Here are your top 9 answers:

1. "It's a game that you can always play and never beat. You play over and over and over and just get better. It teaches you patience and common courtesy all while challenging you in more ways that just sports." -- Stephen Conley

2. "I introduced my son to golf by paying for introductory lessons for him when he was 5, almost 6. I told him that this is a sport that will help him throughout his entire life, in personal friendships, business relationships, and to have something to do with family. He learned honesty, patience, golf skills, and so much about life." -- Sharon Nunnelly Stevenson

3. "It's a wonderful opportunity for Dad to get to spend many uninterrupted hours with you." -- Allen Jones

4. "Build self-esteem as this is an individual sport, not a team sport. It'll also teach a child patience." -- Mike Beard

5. "Golf teaches you responsibility, integrity, and honesty. It teaches you lessons that are useful on and off the course. It is also an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend time with friends and nature." -- Brian Caulfield

6. "The quality of your life is the quality of your communication. Golf teaches you more about life than any other sport. You're consistently communicating with your higher self and core value on the course, as well as off. And it's a brilliant way to create opportunities that might not be afforded to you for other reasons. People will see your attitudes and choices: knowing how you tackle the golf course is probably how you will tackle other parts of your life!" -- Ida Centoni

7. "I would say golf is a game you can always get better at regardless of your size and strength and you don't need to gather up a team to practice to get better." -- Ronnie Castillo

8. "No matter where you grow up to live or to be, there is always a golf course near by where other men, women, and children go to play. There are days you will love the game, and days you will hate the game, but once you start playing, it grows on you. And what else can you do to have a blast with friends when you retire?" -- Catherine Andrews

9. "You are who you are when you're alone... In the woods with the foot wedge ready, but knowing you will only cheat yourself, you punch out with a 5 iron. The guilt alone is what made me the honest player I am today." -- Tim Donohoue



The future of golf is to broaden its appeal beyond the historical "affluent male elite" stereotype of the past, and get more women, chidren, and families involved.

The future of golf as a "family sport" is as exciting and potentially as exploive as skiing has been for the many families looking for a wholesome outdoor activity they can share together. There are no other sports that all members of the family can share together dispite the difference in age, physical apptitude and strength than skiing and golf.

The key to the future is finding the way to minimize the traditional obstacles to learning the sport which is one of the reasons I wrote the book "Learn to Play Golf for Fun" which I targeted at young and female golfers who might be interested in learning the game, but have, in the past been intimidated by the traditional barriers to entering the sport such as the rules, the prejudice against children and women, the perception that beginners will slow play, etc., etc.

The reason I would give to a child to start playing golf is that it is FUN! Given the good days and the bad days, that is the only reason any of us play this great game.

Dr. John T. Whiting