What Is The Best Age To Start Golf?

What Is The Best Age To Start Golf

Golf is a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, young or old. The limited physical movement that is required allows people to continue to play the game well into retirement age. As for starting this ageless game, there are some different things to keep in mind depending on what age your child starts. These aspects are discussed below.


Avoiding Parent Pressure

No matter what age a child starts playing golf, one important point for parents to keep in mind is to not put too much pressure on them early on. Lots of child psychology studies have been done on this subject, and they often find that too much parental pressure can be damaging both physically and mentally for the child. Moreover, this duress the child is under can even lead them to quit golf or sports in general. To avoid these unfortunate circumstances, parents should always try to find that key balance between pushing their child to improve and pressuring them to the point where the sport is no longer fun.

Ages 3-5

This is often a good age range to introduce a child to golf. While not necessarily the time for exact technical instruction, children at this age can still be taught how to hold and swing a golf club. A popular method for doing this is playing “mini golf” with the child. Mini golf can be a fun and easy-to-learn environment for kids without some of the added pressure of the regular game. That being said, if a child shows interest and really wants to learn, it is perfectly fine to take them to a real golf course and give them some basic lessons. 

Ages 6-11

In this age range, children who want to play can start taking golf lessons. Attention spans have typically developed by this age, so kids are better able to pay attention to teachers and instructions. Oftentimes, a good initial method for these lessons is to have a child take them in groups with other kids. This is a good way for them to both make new friends and learn golf etiquette and sportsmanship. Unlike the previous age group, technical lessons are important for these kids. Golf is a sport where bad habits that develop early can be tough to break, and they usually start at this age.

Ages 12 and Up

Once children reach this age, they can begin to benefit more from one-on-one, specified lessons.​​ Additionally, there are a lot more summer camps and specific golf programs to participate in. If their middle or high school has a competitive golf team, they can join and play with their friends while continuing to improve their game. If they appear to have some real talent and look like they may be able to play in college, they can be enrolled in a specialized pre-collegiate program around age 13 or 14. This is only for the kids who are extremely talented and passionate about golf. The most prestigious golf circuit for junior-level players is the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), which features many high-level tournaments and elite competition.

College Golf

If a child wants to play golf in college, they definitely need to start playing as early as possible. The earlier they start, the better their skills will be. Once they are old enough and if they have the talent, they should definitely play in high-level tournaments to get noticed by coaches and become ranked nationally amongst all amateurs. They also should note the scores required to play different levels of college golf. Playing Division I golf requires better scores than Division II, so kids should have those scores in mind. The average scores of Division I golfers are 70-75, while the average scores for Division II golfers are 70-80. Lastly, grades in school are just as important as golfing ability, so kids should be sure they have the same focus in the classroom that they do on the course.

Professional Golf

If a child wants to play professional golf, all of the keys that were important to playing college golf are true to an even greater extent. They have to start playing the game early, play against great competition once they are able to, get noticed by the right people, and have a lot of natural talent. In order to make it to the PGA Tour, which is the most competitive golf tour in the world, one must first make it into the Korn Ferry Tour. The Korn Ferry Tour is a step below the PGA Tour, and qualifying for it involves a four-stage, four-month process that only the most elite players can do. Needless to say, if a child wants to play professional golf, they definitely need to begin playing early on.

Safety Concerns

If a parent is concerned about their child’s safety, they should know that golf is one of the safest sports a kid can play. Golf is considered both a non-contact and a non-strenuous sport, the lowest level of danger a sport can be. Nonetheless, there are still some safety tips kids should keep in mind while they are playing. These include staying a safe distance from a fellow player who is taking a swing, being aware of errantly hit balls, and watching the weather for lightning strikes in the area. Overall, golf is a safe sport for a kid to play, and parents should not have much concern with their child playing.

FAQ

How do I get my kid started with golf?

A good way to get your child started with the game of golf early on is to first show them mini golf. Your child can both learn to love the game and have fun while playing mini golf. If they are ready for the real thing, you can do some research and see if your local golf course is offering lessons for children of your child’s age. Courses will typically have postings online with such information.

How old should my child be to play golf?

There really is no age limit for starting golf. Kids as young as two or three can be introduced to the game on a basic level, and adults can still learn the game at any time they are interested. That being said, the earlier a child starts, the better player they will be in the long run. As far as actual technical instruction, age five or six is usually the age where kids have enough attention span to follow along with lessons. 

Can I teach my child golf?

Golf is a very technical game, so odds are you will only be able to teach your child how to play if you have some experience playing yourself. That being said, if you do have this experience, teaching your child the basics of the game should not be too tricky. Some key tips to remember when teaching your child are to keep it fun, do not be too critical, and allow them to decide their own path in golf; do not push them to be something they are not or do not want to be.

How do I pick a golf coach for my child?

Picking a coach for your child can be key to both their development and their love for the game. When looking for a coach, some tips to keep in mind are look for a coach who has recommendations from others, make sure they have good communication skills, and find out what experience the coach has. It is also key to have patience with your child’s coach. Golf is not an easy game to learn or teach, and no coach will turn your child into a professional golfer in one or two lessons.