Junior Golf Can Teach Lifelong Lessons
Golf is a sport that looks far easier than it truly is out on the course.
At first, the idea of using a metal club to propel a ball toward a hole in the ground seems pretty simple. In reality, the game of golf is anything but simple. It takes concentration, discipline, athletic ability and mental toughness.
There aren’t too many sports that require that range of skills to achieve success, and that’s why golf is the perfect game for shaping young men and women. Learning how to play golf for beginners has to start somewhere, and starting at an early age is a good way to shape a lifelong passion.
When it all comes together, the results of investing in a good golf game can be highly rewarding for players of any age. So just what are some of the greatest takeaways that kids can gain from playing golf at an early age?
The Greatest Takeaways from Junior Golf
Golf may be an enjoyable game, but the life lessons that a player can garner from this game — especially at a young, impressionable age — can be monumental. Here’s a look at some of those lifelong takeaways:
Golf has always been characterized as a “gentleman’s game.” There’s no trash talking on the course (unlike what takes place on the basketball court, the football field or the hockey ice). Instead, opponents must be treated with respect. Good sportsmanship is the standard at all times, and opponents are expected to shake hands at the end of a round.
Unlike professional golf, there aren’t cameras and official scorekeepers following junior golfers as they play a round. On that note, junior golfers police themselves to a certain extent. They have to call their own penalty strokes for out-of-bounds and hazard shots, and can’t take the liberties that hobbyists use when vying for a better lie or positioning their ball around trees.
As noted in the opening, golf is just as much a mental game as it is a physical sport. When it comes to the mental notes, even the slightest distractions can throw off a golfer’s concentration and potentially ruin their shot. Golfers always have respect for their opponents. In this spirit, junior golfers are taught to be silent while their opposition is taking a stroke, and to never stand in the way of someone else’s putt. In addition to respecting their opponent, golfers are also taught to respect the game and the course on which they are playing. This is part of the reason avid golfers will often wear nice clothes and practice good course etiquette, such as replacing divots and green indents.
By now, you’re aware of how mentally conditioned you have to be on the golf course to achieve true success. Golf isn’t an easy game, even for the professionals, so as a young golfer, you’re bound to hit your share of bad shots. How will you respond to these bad shots? Will you let it snowball or will you learn from the mistake and focus your mental energy to make a good shot on your next stroke? Golf teaches young players to manage the inner critic, and to achieve success amid adversity.
In math class, students have to solve for “x.” On the golf course, you have to figure out how you’re going to get the ball over the bunker, and have it fall before the water hazard, so you can get up and down for par. Math class and the golf course are obviously different environments, but problem-solving is something that characterizes each of these pursuits. In addition to bunkers and water hazards, golfers also have to routinely manage shots out of varying cuts of grass, or around trees. That’s not to mention the unpredictable elements of Mother Nature that golfers can may face on any given day.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The golf swing is an extremely complicated sports movement. It takes tons of practice to perfect your swing, and even more practice to sustain it. Learning how to play golf for beginners takes more than a quick search. Even the professionals regularly rework their swings and work with coaches to correct inefficient parts of their technique. Like anything, golf is a game that takes practice, and lots of it, to master. You know what else takes practice are persistence? Schoolwork, relationships, and professions. Golf, however, can be proof to junior golfers that practice and persistence does pay off on and off the fairway.
As you can see, golf offers a multitude of terrific takeaways for junior level players. These takeaways can greatly aid youngsters throughout their lives, making the golf course an ideal setting for lifelong lessons.
Are you searching for how to play golf for beginners? Have you considered teaching your little beginners yourself? Check out these tips on how to teach kids golf!