TEACHING KIDS TO PLAY GOLF
The game must be made fun first, mechanics should be taught second.
Pre shot fundamentals (Position number one)
Grip, Aim, Set up
The top of the back swing (Position number two)
The finish position (Position number three)
Positions must be broken down individually and taught in detail of understanding where you should be with each position.
If positions of the swing (#1, #2, #3) can be done properly with good rhythm and balance all other aspects of the swing should happen somewhat naturally.
If problems do exist with the proper execution positions (#1, #2, #3), they should be addressed independently one at a time. It is impossible to think about to many things at one time. A good teacher can address the major problems first, and work backwards from there. Often times, a proper diagnosis will eliminate numerous problems at once.
Weight transfer with rhythm and balance must be taught to kids in terms of their feet. Weight must go away from the target and back to the target with good rhythm and balance. The speed of this weight transfer from foot to foot should be the same from swing to swing, club to club.
Children’s goals may be different from their parents. Listen to what the child wants out of golf. He or she can show you how they feel about golf often times without words. Just watch the way that the children play. Look at their faces. Look in their eyes. You heard the saying “A face is worth a thousand words”. Make your determination from there.
Children should use a lofted club first until they develop enough strength to get the ball in the air without the aid of extra loft. Very few children can hit the ball hard enough to justify using a driver.
How do you know? Have the child take a few practice swings. Do you hear anything? It should be a pretty convincing “swoosh” You will know.
Encourage kids to play golf with other kids. It produces friendships, makes the game more fun and enjoyable, and improves play through competition.
Do not critique every swing that is made by a child. Limit your swing thoughts to one of two things. Constant coaching will become overwhelming and discourage a child. Encourage a child with praise, and let them know how good they are doing. This is worth it’s weight in gold with children.
Kids should be taught in the power of the legs to hit a golf ball. The arms and path of the club are the result of the legs, and will move in the direction dictated by the lower body assuming that there is no tension in the arms and hands.
The divot is made in front of the golf ball with a slight forward press of the hands. The ball must be hit with a descending blow to get the ball airborne. The only shot that does not require a descending blow is one that is sitting up on a tee and a putt.
You must have a child’ attention first, before you can teach them anything. This is most often achieved by a sense of humour and humour at their level. A child that is happy will be cleared for learning.
Swinging a golf club with a full back swing and full follow through can sometimes be a problem (particularly a beginner) and making solid ball contact. Sometimes the swing should be started first with short swings producing solid ball contact and gradually made larger from there.
Maintain the tilt angle from the hips is imperative to solid ball contact. (Spine angle in relation to the ground must remain constant.
Kids from about the age of 12 and under should work on technique. That way they grow into their swings, and when they arrive at College or turn pro, the possess a mature golf swing that they understand both feel wise and technically. Many junior players wait too long before working on their technique, getting by on talent alone. When the pressure is on, their technique fails them.