Practical advice for parents

Published On: Apr 03 2012 09:36:14 AM EDT

This week I want to speak to the parents about golfing with your kids.

With the sunshine and rolling greens, it can be a great day of one-on-one time with your child. 

However, the number one thing I can tell parents before they set out on a day golfing with a child is to set realistic expectations.  

In other words, don’t bite off more than your child can chew! 

Children at a young age do not (and should not) know about the frustrations that go along with golf; it should be all about the fun.  If a child has a bad experience with you while golfing, they probably won’t be fired up to try it again so lighten up! 

Kids have a short attention span so don’t spend five minutes droning on about the perfect grip. Speak in their terms and don’t worry too much about technique. Always take time to talk to them about safety.

At the driving range, they should be in the stall in front of you not behind – keep them in your line of sight at all times.

Show them where to stand when someone is teeing off don’t just tell them.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to play nine holes with your child until you’ve spent some time at the driving range and practice green.

Turn these moments into fun games with putting and chipping contests. Celebrate small successes. Kids love being praised and by all means do not criticize them!  When you do attempt to get some holes in, take a cart. For most kids, the golf cart is like an amusement park ride. Bring some of their favorite snacks and drinks to help sustain energy.

Golf can be enjoyed by the entire family as long as it is enjoyable. 

When you feel your patience waning and junior is whining, it may be time to head back to the clubhouse for an ice cream.  Pack your patience and remember, make it about them!