August 1, 2022

Leighann Albaugh: Follow a Professional Child Development Program to Introduce Kids Golf

Leighann Albaugh is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Magnolia Green Golf Club, in Moseley, Virginia. She is a US Kids Top 50 Teacher and a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher and Best in State Honoree. She has a Master’s degree in Education and Sports Management from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Leighann Albaugh on the importance of following a professional child development program to introduce kids to golf:

As I state on my website, I believe that my role as a coach is to develop and motivate people to realize their fullest potential, and my goal is to help my students understand basic cause & effect relationships that exist within their golf swing. When I have four two- and three-year olds hitting big colorful plastic balls towards a fun target, those goals are scaled to fit the needs of little golfers hard at play. The “Little Golf Train” is an early childhood development program geared towards kids 2-5 years of age. It was developed by sports psychotherapist, Dr. Patricia Donley, and PGA/LPGA Professional, Nicole Weller. At Magnolia Green Golf Club, I support the initiative put forth by those innovative women, and was the first golf professional to become a certified “conductor” through the program. Two- and three-year olds, who I call my “Mini Buds”, use Littlest Golfer equipment. Their sessions are 30 minutes at a time and the group is limited to four kids. The older kids (ages four and five), my “Lil’ Buds”, enjoy 60-minute sessions, using US Kids and SNAG equipment. Those groups are limited to six participants. With these groups, my goal is to nurture the child’s golf skills through a fun, dynamic, and structured curriculum, scaled to their physical, cognitive, and emotional level of development. As the “Director of Fun”, I offer these sessions at the same time every week, so families can work it into their busy schedules.

Leighann Albaugh on the business impact of following a professional child development program to introduce kids to golf:

At $20 (Mini Buds) and $25 (Lil’ Buds) per child per session, these modest fees are the least of the benefits gained from promoting and following Patricia and Nicole’s program. With this program, I am able to create value for my facility, as parents and kids frequenting our club is always a benefit. Sales of the great child-geared equipment benefit our golf shop and I’ve even had a few parents come to me for instruction themselves. This is the definition of growing the game, a game of socialization and fun. The game crosses generations, and by providing options for everyone in the family, we are gaining multiple customers with each individual who comes through our doors. With over 30 Buds having fun and loving the game in this first year of the Little Golf Train at Magnolia Green Golf Club, we look forward to growing that number as our Mini and Lil’ Buds grow as well.

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