A Child's Pathway In Golf
- Should my child be doing more?
- As a parent, should I being doing more?
- I don’t play golf, what should my child be doing?
Every week, I hear a question like the ones above. What is the pathway for your child? This blog will explain my experiences as well as the opportunities that are available for ALL junior golfers.
Golf is a lot different to when I picked the game up at aged 10. In the early 2000’s, I don’t recall many group academies, or regional mini junior tours available to play in. For us, it was a membership at the local club, the odd group lesson or individual lesson to improve our skills and then a full day with our mates every weekend, playing and practicing. The pathway was clear, play as many club events as possible, compete in junior opens, work to try and get selected for county and so on.
Fast forward to today. We have over 100 juniors at Kingsway alone, thousands across the country. Over 70% of our juniors enjoying group golf lessons each week are under the age of 10. 40% under the age of 7! The journey for a golfer begins so much earlier year on year! And so do the opportunities:
- Golf clubs are better. They are now sized and weighted to a child’s height as opposed to age! Remember, your child may be 7 years old but as tall as a 10 year old! This has had a huge impact, because now golf is easier to play at a younger age. Gone are the days of a 10 year old with a set of cut down steel shafted blade irons, which they struggle to swing above their waist!
- Competitions begin earlier. There are mini tours, such as the British Junior Golf Tour allowing juniors to experience competitive play at such a young age.
- Golf clubs are gradually becoming more accepting of our youth.
So what does a typical journey look like in the modern game? I think the first bit of advice I give to all parents / a junior is to understand why you’re starting the game in the first place. A child’s journey in the game can now be as long as 14 years before they even become an adult. If your child is starting young then their reason for playing will 100% be to have fun!
Shape your journey around this. Play on the range, play on the course, have fun on the putting green and even look into joining a junior academy offering weekly group lessons. Give your child the opportunity to play with friends; this is another huge way of keeping your child in the game for a long period. Remember golf is a hard game! And 14 years in a sport, whilst going through the biggest biological changes of your life is going to create some tough moments, so having friends and keeping it fun are essential.
As your child continues on their journey, more and more opportunities will present themselves. In life it’s often who you know, not what you know. The same is in golf. Find an approachable professional or a member of staff at your club who can guide you in the right direction and never be afraid to ask questions.
Below I have drawn out a timeline of what opportunities can lie ahead for your child.
No matter what the reason for playing is, whether it be a social sport or a dream career, the beauty of this game is it lasts for a lifetime and opens up endless opportunities.
For more information about our group golf lessons in Cambridge or how we can help your child please find out more here.
Chris Hattersley, Head of Academy