When you teach your children to golf, you'll also be teaching them lessons about life. Not only will they learn patience and good manners, but they'll also need to learn about concentration and discipline if they wish to improve. It's a game you can play from the time you're able to hold a club until the day your arms no longer let you swing. Some senior citizens still like to play golf because it's a great way for them to stay active, which sets it apart from other popular sports like football or hockey. By teaching your kids to golf, you're introducing them to a sport they may be able to play for the rest of the lives.
A great benefit of teaching your child to golf is the opportunity to do something fun together, and, as touched on previously, fun is a key factor. Make sure you keep the focus there as it's been shown that kids lose interest when they aren't having fun anymore [source: Van Horn]. There are still benefits beyond a good time, though.
Golf may help instill honesty in your child. The game relies heavily on the honor system because no one will keep track of your strokes except you, and your party likely won't follow you into the rough to make sure you don't adjust the lie of your ball. You won't regret introducing this concept to your kids at an early age.
Like many sports, golf can improve your child's discipline, teaching that practice pays off. At first, they may swing the club and miss the ball completely more often than they actually hit it, but with practice and patience, those wasted strokes will become a thing of the past.
On top of all that, golf is a great way to stay healthy. Walking a nine-hole course and carrying your bag can burn hundreds of calories. A recent study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that golfing generally adds five years to a person's life expectancy [source: ASGCA].
For more information on how you can teach your kids to golf and enjoy it, check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Society of Golf Course Architects. "Health Studies Detail Benefits of Playing Golf." 2009. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.asgca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=222:health-studies-detail-benefits-of-playing-golf&catid=39:news&Itemid=18
- BBC. "A guide to the rules of golf." (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/golf/rules_and_equipment/4229612.stm.html
- Golden, Jay. "Golf Rules for Kids." Monkeysee. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.monkeysee.com/play/13333-golf-rules-for-kids
- Kids Good Manners. "Kids Golf Etiquette." (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.kidsgoodmanners.com/golf/Golf.swf
- Kidzworld. "Golf Ball Dimples - How Many?" (Accessed 01/04/2009) http://www.kidzworld.com/article/1147-golf-ball-dimples-how-many
- Miller, Johnny. "How to get your kids excited about golf." Golf Digest. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2008/08/millerjuniorgolfers
- National Junior Golf Tour. "Rules." (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.nationaljuniorgolfclub.com/Rules.aspx
- PGA. "Golf Etiquette." Turner Sports Interactive. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.pga.com/play/etiquette/
- Rotella, Dr. Bob. "Camp Counselor." Golf Digest. April 2004. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2008/08/gd0404_rotellajuniorgolfers
- Van Horn, Dan. "The Importance of Play." US Kids Golf. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.uskidsgolf.com/eng/play/sectionLandingPage.cfm?cmSectionId=232
- World Book. "Famous Golfers." 2010. (Accessed 01/04/2010) http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?content_spotlight/golf/famous