I’m often asked how I got my girls started in golf. I must admit, we didn’t have an action plan in place for our girls and really were rather green to the level of junior competitive golf in our region. When Kayla played the Callaway Junior Worlds for the first time, I certainly felt like we were behind the other parents and juniors out there. But, don’t worry, I’ve also been told that at this age, it’s really about the fun. The children will decide how much they want to pursue the sport and it usually happens around the age of 14. And, being a mother of teenagers, I know they’ll be making that decision, not me.
So, where did we start? We purchased Nalani’s first real set of golf clubs when she was only 2 years old. The golf store had this very cute, little pink set that came with the bag, driver, 2 wedges and a putter. Seriously, even if she wasn’t going to use them, they were too cute to pass up. But, she did. We kept the set in the living room where she’d often putt and swing.
When she started to really swing and get some loft (ball off the ground) risking the safety of our TV, we moved her to the backyard. We have 2 golf mats in our backyard and several buckets of balls. She made it a goal to hit her balls into our pond. Perhaps that was a great way to teach her early on not to be afraid of the water. Once she was pretty consistent in getting the balls into the pond, her next goal was to get the ball to fly over the fence into the neighbor’s back yard.
Then, obviously when she reached that goal we had to move her practices to the driving range.
We took the girls out to play golf occasionally. I then learned that there were golf tournaments the girls could play and compete. Golf tournaments have probably made the biggest impact on my daughters’ improvement. When they saw other children their own age playing golf so well and winning, they wanted to improve. It’s in their competitive DNA I suppose and helped drive them to improve and want to practice golf.
So, that’s a short summary on how our youngest got started. In my next post, I’ll discuss how to prepare before your child starts playing tournaments.