By Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA
2104 PGA National Teacher of the Year
Enjoying activities together as a family is important, especially in today’s digital world. Golf is a terrific game to share together as a family. Folks of all ages can play– from grandparents to young children. Whether at a driving range, indoor simulator, on a Par 3 golf course, or on a vacation to a “bucket list” adventure at a dream golf course, everyone will have their own unique experience. Truly; it’s the bonding that everyone remembers, no matter what the score.
Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is very personal. I recommend joining a group program– as a family– at a golf facility that has family golf days or learning sessions. Seeing a qualified golf professional takes the pressure off first timers while also boosting the skills of more experienced players. The best way to keep the family interested in golf is to keep it fun.
I’d like to share some tips to help all the members in your family or group– at every skill level– as you take up the sport of golf together. From golf equipment, self-esteem, bonding time, and much more; I’ll offer suggestions that will get grandparents involved, parents bonding with their kids for hours (instead of minutes), and kids gaining the benefits of getting outside and getting active, developing skills that will help their development in the future.
Bring your grandkids and their friends out to golf. Many parents have limited time in their busy schedules and it’s hard to carve out enough time to introduce their kids to the game of golf. With work, school schedules, and other activities– it is hard for them. It is time for you to step in and introduce the game to the younger crowd. No matter what age, bring the kids to the driving range, putting green, or golf course, and even for a cool beverage. Show them the facility and how it all works. Work around the child’s time-frame. Don’t force it. If it is only 10 minutes, great! If you keep exposing them to the facility and the game, they’ll eventually want to join you for longer and longer visits– eventually (possibly!) playing with you. Make it a fun adventure, introduce them to a golf professional, and then bring some lesson information back home to the parents.
What better way to bond with your kids than to spend quality time with them. Golf is a safe and wonderful atmosphere. Think of this experience as a career builder for yourself and for your children. With minimal risks and a given variety of skill levels, everyone can play golf for a lifetime. The benefits of introducing golf to your children include: increased self-esteem, improved social skills, and shared common interests among other golfers as they navigate their professional and personal lives.
Of course, golf needs to be fun for kids! If you approach golf as a cool and mysterious puzzle that needs to be solved, today’s youth will find it irresistible to figure it out– and do it quickly. Golf will teach the “Three P’s”: persistence, patience, and practice. Golf improves academic focus, encourages cooperation, introduces kids to positive mentors, strengthens social relationships, builds leadership skills, requires careful time management skills, while also encouraging a successful mindset and strong community representation. Whether they play in tournaments or not, golf can really benefit their lives.
Bring the entire family out to find great golf programs in your area. Get involved in golf together and provide countless memories for everyone. One recommendation for you to keep in mind; if your family members don’t ask for help, please restrain from helping them. Often, folks want to figure it out by themselves– or even find an expert to teach them and get them on track quickly. Enjoy this memorable time with your family while sharing the great game of golf together!