Golf is a game that is accessible to almost anyone that lives near a golf course. Young children can start playing at a very young age.
We’re going to talk about when the best age to start golf lessons is, the best ways to start our kids in the sport of golf, what the appropriate age is to let children play unsupervised, and ways to engage your children in the game when they first begin.
Youth golf has exploded in popularity since the 2019 Covid Pandemic began when it forced many families to start participating more in outdoor activities.
It is a great way to encourage exercise, hard work, discipline, and competition in young athletes.
What Is the Best Age to Start Golf Lessons?
The best age to start golf lessons is between six and eight years old. This is the age where many golf clubs start to provide group lessons for kids. Instructors make the game fun and engaging while teaching crucial parts of the game like the basics of holding the club, swing, chipping and putting.
Golf lessons like these are fun and encourage kids to play more often and engage in the sport.
Once they have mastered the basics you can start playing with them in regular golf rounds.
How Do I Start My Kid in Golf?
You can start your kid in golf by taking them to mini golf (putt putt courses), bringing them with you to the driving range, and having them ride along in the cart while you play.
Another way is to let them experiment with some of your old equipment or purchase them a few junior clubs.
This is a great time to start them with a putter or chipping wedge.
Extremely young golfers below the age of three can be dangerous with regular golf equipment however there are plenty of oversized plastic options instead.
These can be found almost year-round in the toy section at your local department store.
Most golf companies make junior equipment that is sized for smaller players.
Sets of clubs like these are generally less expensive and don’t include as many clubs as an adult’s bag would carry.
You can expect a junior golf bag to include a driver, hybrid, some kind of iron like a 7 or 9, a wedge, and a putter.
Junior clubs are designed to be more forgiving to beginner players.
Once your kid has equipment that fits them, they can begin joining you on the golf course practicing at the range, honing your putting skills, and playing out on the course.
Can a 3 Year Old Play Golf?
A 3 year old can play golf under the right circumstances and when supervised. The best place for a 3-year-old golfer is in the backyard. Oversized plastic golf clubs, large plastic golf balls, and fun golf games are available in almost every store that has a toy section.
You can let your 3 year old run loose in the backyard practicing striking the ball without too many worries.
Another option to teach a 3 year old to play golf is to purchase a small putting green.
You can cut your old putter down to size for them and let them practice hitting practice balls into the hole.
If they have developed sufficient motor skills then another great option is a mini-golf course.
Mini-golf courses, or putt putt, are designed to be kid friendly and engaging. They feature themed holes and fun challenges.
How to Teach a 4 to 7 Year Old to Play Golf
You can teach a 4 to 7 year old child to play golf in many ways. The most common way is to let them start playing with your old clubs in the backyard or by practicing with a child’s set in the local park.
Releasing a young child into the world with golf clubs without some proper instruction and guidance can be a questionable decision at best.
It is recommended that you always supervise children in the young age bracket when they are playing with golf clubs, and more importantly, golf balls.
Many companies make foam balls designed for practice.
These make great alternatives to real golf balls that can do some damage when aimed in the wrong direction.
Minigolf (putt putt) is a great way to engage children in golf and also work on their putting skills.
This family-friendly environment is perfect for a kid experimenting with the game for the first time. The holes are designed to be used and abused by young adolescents so they won’t hurt anything.
Your local golf courses probably offer group lessons for children.
These lessons are fun and focus on the basics like learning how to hold the club, proper swing patterns and feet placement, differences in clubs and how to use the equipment.
Additionally, this is normally when a young player actually plays golf for the first time.
Can You Take a Toddler to the Golf Course?
You can take a toddler to the golf course depending on circumstances such as child safety and course rules. Young golfers are the future of the game so most golf courses have programs in place for juniors and welcome them.
The first and most important factor to consider is if the golf course/golf club allows children on the course at all.
Many public tracks, country clubs, and other private courses have restrictions or guidelines in place that determine if and when children can be on the course.
Most of these revolve around the practice areas like the driving range and putting greens.
It is not uncommon for there to be rules in place that say a child must be over the age of five or six and always supervised by an adult.
This helps protect the club from liabilities of a child getting hurt as well as protects the course itself from any accidental damage.
The second factor is how well-behaved the toddler is. A well-behaved toddler that understands when to be quiet and when to leave the cart is welcome on many golf courses.
A toddler that will interrupt the game for other players is generally not recommended to take with you on a golf trip.
Can Children Use a Driving Range?
Children can use a driving range when they are supervised. Many golf courses, country clubs, and driving range facilities implement strict guidelines regarding children and junior golfers.
There are many clubs that have outright bans on children using the practice facilities, however, the majority of golf courses allow children to use the driving range.
Most of these rules are put in place due to insurance requirements or worries about potential liability if a child gets hurt or ends up hurting someone else.
The most common rule is a simple one: children must be supervised at all times when at the driving range.
It helps keep them from wandering out onto the field and getting struck with a ball, prevents their (sometimes) wild swings from hurting someone, and makes sure they don’t get hit by someone else’s swing.
Practice facilities like driving ranges and putting greens are a good option for children who may still be a little young to actually play on the course.
It also exposes them to the different ways that there are to form a golf shot.
Starting at the driving range will also help you determine where your child’s skill level is at and highlights the areas you need to focus on more with them.
Can a 2 Year Old Play Mini Golf?
Yes, 2 year olds are allowed to play mini golf. Mini golf courses are family-friendly activities that are welcoming to all ages from the newest member to the ones that started it all.
If your two year old has developed their motor skills to a point where they can hold a club and hit a ball, feel free to bring them to the putt putt course.
Taking a 2 year old to play mini golf will be an exercise in patience for you as a parent.
The objective of the game will not necessarily be to hit the ball in the hole but rather hit the ball period.
You may have to skip certain sections so that you don’t slow the people down that are playing behind you.
Saturdays are the busiest, generally speaking, and might be a time that you avoid playing.
These days are normally more fast-paced and there are a lot of distractions running around that can make your two year old lose focus.
There are many ways to introduce your children to the game of golf.
You can start as young as just a few years old playing in the backyard with oversized plastic clubs and balls or take them to play minigolf to learn about putting.
After they get a little bit older you can begin bringing them to practice facilities like driving ranges and chipping/putting greens.
Formal lessons start to become valuable now as their instructors can help them focus on the finer points of the game.
Once they have mastered the basics you can begin bringing them with you on the golf course.
You can start teaching them things like course management, reading greens and proper club selection.