For every kid whose parent or Grandparent can’t wait to get them started in golf, there is another kid who has been playing half his or her life. Greatly intentioned parents often buy toy clubs as an amusement, just to plant a seed, thinking they will introduce ‘real’ golf later. And it works, absolutely! Some kids can’t get enough! Other kids however, might be result driven, and lose interest due to the limited result a blown plastic club, or a toy club delivers. When the result is limited, the inclination to stay interested is limited.
Our concept, and the basis for our company’s slogan “Start Younger, Play Longer®” was really born out of the ski resorts of Colorado, where kids who can barely stand, can ski. Those same kids will always be connected to skiing- even if not physically, just mentally; the connection is lifelong!
Exposure is the key, and freedom to explore at very early ages is paramount. We introduced golf and our ‘TLG First Set' training clubs to a little boy that had no interest in holding the grip. Not just our patented LGT grip, but any grip, except for hitting the ball with it! He liked to hold the club head, and hit the ball with the grip, which was pretty impressive, because it takes a lot more hand/eye coordination. He was committed to his style of golf and yes, it was still golf, and his way was fine. He was exploring the game of golf, and his interest continued to grow, until he decided to try holding the grip, and hitting the ball with the club head. He immediately saw a better result, and has become a poster child for impressive swing technique. He can hit a ball 30 yards like he’s been doing it his whole life! Well he has, almost!
It is wonderful to “plant the seed,” but it is amazing if you nurture the seed, and watch it grow. With care, it will blossom. Golf is not easy, even if the only objective is to hit the ball. Kids that start younger learn faster, and embrace everything as a success: 6 foot putt or 6 putts in one foot-winning!
The more kids see golf, the more they will emulate it. If given the proper tools, they will progress beyond anyone's expectation. Expectations for parents need to be narrowed. Keep it fun. It is so hard for parents to want to instruct, and even minimize the horse play - but horse play is fun! I had to come to terms with the fact that my kids would rather play golf with Happy Gilmore than Bobby Jones. From them I have learned that playing with my own little 'Happy Gilmore' is the real essence of golf. Early exposure to the game allows parents and grandparents to remember the best part of golf.
Is a 300 yard drive rewarding? Yes it is - but more than anything else it is fun! The best thing about these kids is that they know a 30 yard shot is better than a 20 yard shot, but when it comes to fun - they are pretty equal. The best ambassadors to the game of golf are actually three year olds, because they are 'soul golfers.'
If you believe in the life lessons inherent in golf, and have hopes of sharing an afternoon of memories made on the fairways, the key is early exposure. The key is keeping it fun, and the biggest gift you can give is enabling them to "Start Younger, Play Longer!®"