Yesterday, PGA Coach Brendon Elliott wrote a very interesting perspective on how to get girls more involved in golf
. One important item on his list was the need to make golf instruction more social for kids and especially young girls. Golf was a social game before it was a competitive one. At the junior level this theme is vital to gaining momentum for kids to stay interested in the game.
A simple way to combine the sentiment of Elliott’s article and capture a girl’s attention is to focus on short shots when teaching a young girl to play. A PGA Coach is certainly recommended to begin this process, but at some point, parents, guardians, and friends will have to play a role. When called upon to reinforce the coaching of their PGA instructor, remember to continue using the group theme.
Here’s a great example of how to tackle teaching girls to play better and enjoy it at the same time.
Before you bring your young girl to the course, have her reach out to a couple of friends. Even if just one friend can come with her, it’s better than going alone. Once you get to the course, clearly establish what you are going to do. Kids are always asking a million questions because as adults we take much for granted. They don’t know what we are up to, and golf is foreign. Explain the game plan thoroughly!
Start with what types of games you are going to play. You can consult with any local PGA Coach, and they will have dozens of unique and athletic games for kids that reinforce the skills needed to play golf. Pick one and explain it to your mini girl group. Make sure they understand the rules and what the goal is.
One of my favorites is tic tac toe. It can be played as a putting or chipping game. Take some thin string and a bunch of tees. Make a grid on the putting green and then have them putt/chip from a spot until there is a winner.
Get the girls organized and start playing. Watch as they talk with one another and figure out how to putt to a certain spot. This positive learning environment is good for competitive and non-competitive kids. Games are very important to the learning process in golf. They keep children engaged and provide feedback. You can heighten the fun by offering everyone ice cream or a small treat afterward. Establishing a goal is an important part of the process. Show the girls they will be rewarded for practicing.
Parents ask PGA Coaches all the time how to introduce their children to golf. We use the same fun and proven strategies as any other coach or teacher. In fact, pay attention to other activities. If you see you children eager to participate in other sports, music or extracurriculars, find out why. Borrow that tactic and bring it to the golf course. Keep it fun, make it social and they will be asking to go back again and again.