Teaching your child to play golf doesn’t have to be a dogfight. On the contrary, it can be a fun-filled, enjoyable experience, if you approach it with the right mindset. The key to teaching your child to play golf is letting her call the shots. By doing so, you’re letting her explore the game on her own—and that’s fun for her. Kids aren’t interested in improving their golf handicaps or absorbing golf tips. They’re interested in having fun. Make it so and they’ll learn to love the game.

Below is some advice I’ve gleaned from years of teaching kids to play golf. The advice is more common sense than anything else, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it every so often. Golf might be your passion, but it’s not your child’s. Learn to make golf lessons fun and it might become their passion.

Play More Than Teach

Getting your child to equate golf with fun may be difficult to handle when you’re paying for it. We want to see the child learn something that he or she can take away from the lesson. To adults, that means focusing on the task at hand. But a child’s attention span is short. He doesn’t really start to focus on something until he’s ready. So keep the golf lesson short. Make sure it lasts no more than 30 minutes. Break that down into 10 minutes of a lesson and 20 minutes of just banging a ball around or maybe drawing faces on golf gloves.

Use Fun Ways to Teach Technique

Teaching your son or daughter how to hold a golf club is a key golf tip. But to a little child that golf lesson could be drudgery. That’s where you need to use your creativity. Invent a fun way to teach technique. Let’s say your child has difficulty shifting her weight to her left side. Try cutting out two smiley faces from a children’s magazine or book. Paste one on your right heel and one on hers. Now, show her how you shift your weight so that your right heel comes off the ground, showing the smiley face. Have her do the same.

Work On The Short Game

Most adults would rather hit at the driving range than putt on the practice green. But we all know that it’s the short game that cuts strokes from our golf handicaps. Work on chipping and putting with your child. Try to heighten his or her interest in this part of golf by making it a game or a contest instead of a “practice session.” Kids love games and contests. Their fun, especially when they win. Try losing on purpose so the child enjoys the contest. When he wins, make a big deal out of it.

Teach Safety First
Kids don’t always think when they do something. On the golf course, that can be a problem. How do you keep a child from getting hurt? Follow these common sense suggestions:

* Always keep the child in your line of sight.
* Don’t let a child drive the golf cart.
* Never let a child site in a golf cart alone
* Have the child occupy the stall in front of you on the practice range, never the one behind you.
* Draw an imaginary safety line three feet in front of the child that he or she is not allowed to cross.

Teaching a young child to play golf doesn’t have to be like taming a fire-breathing dragon. It can be fun and enjoyable, if we make it so. The child will learn to love anything he has fun doing. And if he has fun doing it, he’ll continue playing it no matter what his or her golf handicap turns out to be. And you’ll have a family activity you can enjoy together for years. 

Teach Safety First

Kids don’t always think when they do something. On the golf course, that can be a problem. How do you keep a child from getting hurt? Follow these common sense suggestions:

* Always keep the child in your line of sight.
* Don’t let a child drive the golf cart.
* Never let a child site in a golf cart alone
* Have the child occupy the stall in front of you on the practice range, never the one behind you.
* Draw an imaginary safety line three feet in front of the child that he or she is not allowed to cross.

Teaching a young child to play golf doesn’t have to be like taming a fire-breathing dragon. It can be fun and enjoyable, if we make it so. The child will learn to love anything he has fun doing. And if he has fun doing it, he’ll continue playing it no matter what his or her golf handicap turns out to be. And you’ll have a family activity you can enjoy together for years.