Tiger Woods’s father, Earl Woods, first introduced his son to golf at the young age of two. At age three, he shot a 48 over 9 holes at the Navy Golf Course. These memorable events marked the beginning of a long and successful career for Woods, eventually leading him down the path of turning pro at age 20.
While many golf parents would love nothing more than their child becoming the next Tiger Woods, that kind of natural talent is rare to find. However, what you can do is encourage your young golfer, who already loves the game, to succeed and grow within the sport.
- Focus On Keeping Practice Time Age-Appropriate
As a parent, you know that convincing your child to practice is not without its challenges. And while you want to encourage and motivate them without it being overwhelming, you also want to make sure the money you may be investing in their lessons and time on the course is reinforced with regular practice.
A child in grade school, for instance, should learn that practicing is a continuation of the fun things they did during their golf lesson, and as your child grows, practicing becomes more about fine-tuning skills and game development.
- Make A Schedule — And Stick To It
Just as with time for homework or bedtime, practice time should be scheduled each week and adhered to as much as possible. By setting aside time for practicing, it helps make it less likely it’ll get postponed. Try to be specific with scheduled times, too — don’t just say Saturday afternoon or this weekend; instead, try Saturday at 2 pm.
- Allow Your Son Or Daughter To Give Their Input
If they’re old enough, allow your young golfer to decide what might be useful to incorporate into their practice routine. If they feel as though they have a role in decision-making, they may be more likely to follow through on sticking to scheduled practice times.
- Have Clear Objectives
When you have clear objectives in mind for each practice session, it makes those goals that much more achievable. Whether you’re working on improving your junior golfer’s stance, swing, or their short or long game, having defined goals gives young golfers something they can strive for.
- Teach Them The Importance of Mental Toughness
Golf is just as much, if not more, a mental game than it is a physical one. No golfer can succeed without the proper mindset. It’s been said that Earl Woods would do his very best to distract his son while he was trying to focus on hitting his shot, whether that was throwing clubs, yelling, or generally making a ruckus. Whatever he did, it seemed to work, as Tiger’s now well-known for his unique abilities to focus intently during every shot.
While you don’t have to go to such extremes, teaching your young golfer about staying mentally focused is important — there is much to evaluate during every shot, after all. The wind direction, speed, distance to the hole, and what the layout of the hole looks like are just a few things golfers have to keep in mind during every shot, and some of these things, such as mental toughness, will come naturally with time as your child grows.
- Let Them Know You’re Proud
All children want to please their parents, and sometimes just letting your young golfer know how proud you are of them is enough to keep them motivated and encouraged. When they make mistakes, show them what they can do differently next time, and share in the joys of their successes when they get that shot just right.
Contact Basking Ridge Country Club
Interested in learning more about our golf academy and what it has to offer young, enthusiastic golfers? Contact Basking Ridge Country Club at 908-766-8200 for more information.