Ryan Galay: Keeping juniors interested in golf

Now that we are part way through the season and all of our Juniors have been introduced to the game of golf through junior lessons, it’s time to talk about how we keep our juniors interested in golf. Golf can be a great way to spend time together while they are out of school.

The key to keeping juniors interested in golf is to make sure they have fun while they are on the golf course. There are a variety of ways that this can be achieved, but the most important one is to support your junior when they want to golf, but don’t push or force them to spend too much time at the course until they want to.

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When you are able to get your junior out on the golf course, make sure you stock up on all the necessities like sunscreen, drinks and snacks. Sometimes, a round of golf can take a long time so make sure you are prepared for when your junior needs something. Golf can also be a tiring game, so when teaching your junior take a cart until they are at an age and skill level that walking is appropriate. Nothing is more fun for a kid than being able to ride in the golf cart with their parent or grandparent out on the course.

Once you are out on the course it is important to only play the amount your junior is able too. Playing 18 holes for a beginner can be an extremely tiresome process, so make sure to start out only playing nine holes. It’s also important to make sure your junior plays from a yardage, some courses have junior tees set up for different skill level juniors. These tees are set up so your junior is able to challenge the course and seeing scores similar to their parent can be encouraging to any junior. Don’t worry though once your junior starts being able to compete with you there are plenty more tee boxes they can continue to move back to as their games progress.

When your junior is enjoying playing golf and you think it’s time to try to take their game to the next level it’s time to teach them to practice. When teaching your junior how to practice, it’s important to balance your practice time between the range and the short game area. A lot of new golfers forget to spend time practicing their short game, which is the quickest way to improve your score.

One trick to make practicing more fun for your junior is to play games when you practice and have competitions like long drives and closest to the pin competitions. Regardless of how you choose to make the game of golf fun for your junior, it’s important to grow the game and the key to growing the game is making sure its enjoyable for everyone.

If you aren’t a golfer or aren’t available to take them out during the slower times at the course, check with your course to see if there are golfers who are willing to take juniors out to golf.  

— Ryan Galay

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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