Why Your Kids Should Play Golf
One look at your child as he saddles up next to his computer or video game and you have to wonder about the culture gap that exists between kids and adults today.
The game of golf presents parents with a wonderful chance to break their kids away from technology and spend quality time with their child while being able to teach them valuable life lessons.
When my dad first took me out to try golf, I was about eight years old. We went to the driving range, and little did I know I would end up falling in love with the sport for life.
My dad had me watch him putt, chip and drive balls, and guided me as I attempted to emulate him. When he played, he took me along and let me attempt little bits and pieces as I was beginning, making me hungrier to learn.
Some say golf is too hard. But, while the game is difficult, its difficulty is also one of its great teaching components – being good at anything in life, requires practice and patience.
As I learned the rules of golf, my father continued to remind me about how the sport was a sport of gentlemen.
He kept it simple, and he made it a point to teach me that there were rules of the game and rules for the course. Following these rules of sportsmanship as a bright-eyed, energetic youth was tough at times, but the discipline and honesty that come with the rules are two virtues that have stuck with me to this day.
And a self-governing sport like golf teaches kids the difference between right and wrong when they are faced with a difficult situation, and that being truthful even when others aren’t looking is always the best road to take – on the course and in life.
With each grand success and heartbreaking failure in this game there is a lesson learned. Humility, perseverance, grace and dignity are a few.
It’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that teach young players how to properly deal with others when it comes to winning and losing. And after dumping a ball in the water or lacing one out of bounds, it takes courage and fortitude to come back and tee it up again.
It makes the first big drive, birdie, chip-in and – if you are lucky – your first hole-in-one that much sweeter. The look of pride and sense of accomplishment that rests on your child’s face after that big shot is indescribably fantastic.
Possibly most important of all are the memories that are created every time you and your kids lace up the spikes and go out to the links together. As they get older, they’ll begin to respect the game for its beauty and its imperfections and will hold it dear because they remember playing with you.
My favorite childhood memories include playing golf with my dad as a youngster.
If you are interested in getting your kids into golf but don’t know where to start, the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation provides names of instructors and clinics nationwide.
Play Golf America also provides youth clinic information and courses that are family friendly for beginners.