By: Brendon Elliot, PGA
As a golf coach I’m sure you’ve heard this question from parents countless times: “Why do you think golf is the right activity for my child?”
Beyond building the character traits that we all know and love – integrity, honesty, patience, accountability, etc. – there are many reasons for parents to choose golf for their kids over other sports. For one, the youngster doesn’t have to be overly athletic to play and be successful at golf. Golfers come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. You have to be respectful when addressing this point. You don’t want to tell someone their kid is unathletic, they should try golf. The point is rather that golf is a game for everyone, regardless of stature or athleticism. Another example could be a child that has tried other sports but not found joy in playing; golf could be the right option for them. As we all know, golf is a game for a lifetime and it’s never too early to start.
The threat of injury that may also come with other sports is simply not there within golf. The chances of injury, especially serious ones, are very minimal. The golf course is a safe place and facilitates relationship development. The golf course provides a safety net and great support system for young people – which are beneficial for physical health as well as mental and social development.
The golf course is one of the easiest places in the world to make friends. Our game helps foster a unique bond among people of all ages and provides space for those friendships to be developed. Friendships that can, and often do, last a lifetime.
It’s hard to think about it now, but kids grow up and the people they meet as children can play a huge part in their success later in life. Golf is a sport that helps prepare kids and teens for careers in numerous areas of business. This is another key point that we should be sharing with parents as golf coaches.
In today’s world of Fortnite and handheld devices, children spend less time outside the house than many of us did when we were their ages. Golf is the perfect excuse to spend an entire day enjoying the outdoors and gives kids the opportunity to develop healthy, lifelong exercise habits.
Golf closely parallels real life. The range of experience – from good shots to bad – grows a young person’s ability to keep each shot and each round in perspective, manage their emotions, maintain a positive outlook and focus on one shot at a time. These kinds of lessons will translate directly into their everyday life.
Finally, golf is a game the entire family can participate in. It’s an opportunity for quality bonding time, and that doesn’t change even as the kids grow and get older. Remind parents that it’s easy for multiple generations to go out together on the golf course. Few other sports offer such.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, one of the best reasons to get children involved in golf is that it’s fun. So the next time a parent ask you: “Why should my kid play golf?”… remember the multiplicity of factors that make our game unique and beneficial to the development of young people.