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Thread: Calling Golfers

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Calling Golfers

    What age did you start? Are you any good?

    My eldest is 5 yrs old. By that age I was passionate about football. I played all the time and knew all the names of players from certain teams. Little Kevin has no interest. I cant get him to watch the WC and have to almost bribe him to kick a ball around with me.

    Anyway, he will not watch the football but was transfixed by the US Open so maybe this is his thing.

    Now golf is one of the few mainstream sports I have not played or coached at a decent level so Im looking for advice on how to get him started (or whether to wait) and Im thinking that this maybe a good thing that Im not a golfer as he doesnt have me over his shoulder.

    Im not looking for him to be the next Tiger but rather something he can get in to and get a great deal of pride, life lessons and self esteem from in the coming years.
    Last edited by Goughy; 20-06-2010 at 07:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    Started when i was 6, still **** (play with a H'cap of about 18).

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  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Just take him to a driving range mate, let him have a hack there with some cut down clubs.

    Kids start really young now, but I think 5 is a little too young, based on a local golf pro saying same to me when I asked him about my kids three years back.

    Then again, others may have a different view. Certainly wouldn't think it's too young to get him to the range and have a hit and giggle.

    Golf is great because it's one of the few sports where honour and fair play is still very much at the forefront. I know blokes who find it acceptable to hack down anyone and everyone on a football field, lead with elbows playing Rah Rah or League and rub Vaso on a cricket ball to keep it shiny, but are absolutely mortified when someone cheats on a golf course.

    That's very hypocritical of course, but says something about the strength of the traditions in the game. Nothing worse than someone who cheats at golf imho.
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  4. #4
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I started when I was 16, so pretty late. Played regularly until around the age of 24/25 and had a handicap of 3 or 4 at that stage. Was decent, but had a pretty poor approach to the game mentally. Shot some decent low scores on occasions.

    Still play now occasionally, although here in South Korea it's screen golf as the real thing's too expensive. Am looking forward to being a member of a golf club back in Australia again at some stage though and playing a bit.

    Would recommend giving your son the chance to try it out if he's keen. We had a good junior golf program in our area and, even though he might have to wait a little while to join up due to his age (not sure what the regulations are there), it's worth it for the social aspect and lessons etc etc. Think Burgey's suggestion re: taking him to a driving range and having a whack is a good one.
    Last edited by Son Of Coco; 20-06-2010 at 08:03 PM.
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  5. #5
    Request Your Custom Title Now! benchmark00's Avatar
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    My Dad (who was/is a very good golfer) started me off when I was 11 or so. Think my first game was just following him around (pretending to be his caddy) and him chucking down an extra ball and letting me take an occasional shot. By 17 I was playing off a handicap of around 5, but by 18 didn't have enough time for it and pretty much gave it away. Now I play a round every few weeks.

    I reckon the key would be to let the kid play it on his terms. If he likes the walk around, great, but if he genuinely hates getting around a golfcourse you can't make him.

    I'd say 5 is too young if you don't want him to become a Tiger. You want to start him off at an age where a set of clubs will last him a while. He'll grow out of a set too fast when he's five I'd imagine.
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  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Interesting to hear 5/6 is too young. Im fine with that, I just thought he was already late. Good to know

  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Too young to pick up a club, but you should already have him on a strict weights regime and nutritional program. It's an area of a child's development The Wiggles have missed out on badly in my opinion.

    As others have suggested though - maybe just get him a cut down club (something like a 7 iron - which is easy enough to hit with the loft and also gives some distance) and see how he likes hitting a ball around.
    Last edited by Son Of Coco; 21-06-2010 at 01:02 AM.

  8. #8
    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    What age did you start? Are you any good?

    My eldest is 5 yrs old. By that age I was passionate about football. I played all the time and knew all the names of players from certain teams. Little Kevin has no interest. I cant get him to watch the WC and have to almost bribe him to kick a ball around with me.

    Anyway, he will not watch the football but was transfixed by the US Open so maybe this is his thing.

    Now golf is one of the few mainstream sports I have not played or coached at a decent level so Im looking for advice on how to get him started (or whether to wait) and Im thinking that this maybe a good thing that Im not a golfer as he doesnt have me over his shoulder.

    Im not looking for him to be the next Tiger but rather something he can get in to and get a great deal of pride, life lessons and self esteem from in the coming years.
    Goughy, a friend of mine is the father of one of the world's best golfers and here is his response to me when I asked him the same question about my son


    "Sport should be fun for kids, and golf is part of that arena.

    I started xxx playing "real" golf at about 5 years old. I had a few
    clubs cut down to the appropriate length and weight, and then took him
    to hit some shots on the range, and then to a par 3 course.

    Since those years (seems a long time ago) i have done a lot of work
    with young kids introducing them to the game, and it has strengthened
    my views that there are a few keys:

    1). make sure the clubs suit in length and weight (its hopeless, and
    detrimental, for the kids to have clubs that they can't handle and/or
    don't do the job). Of course, they grow all the time, so be prepared to
    have them lengthened or changed every now and again.

    2). don't make it daunting. A full size golf course is just too hard
    and too long. The par 3 type of course is perfect. Imaging how long a
    400 metre hole looks to a little kid?! As they improve, they start to
    be able to reach the par 3 holes and they get real confidence, and of course that is part of the fun.

    3). With those two things, comes FUN. Kids like doing things like this
    with their Mum or Dad, if it's fun. When we were just knocking the
    ball around a park or field, we just made up games, and when xxx
    started to feel stale with it, we just quit. To him in those early
    years, it was just like playing cricket or football or tennis -
    outside, having fun, laughing. It was fantastic.

    So, that's my advise. It's never too early to get Tommy involved,
    just make it easy for him and have a ball!

    Also, these days there are some great little sets of 3 clubs or so already
    made to suit various age groups"

  9. #9
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Get him to have a crack at mini-golf first surely. It's the cheapest easiest way to have a crack at that age, if he's engaged by it go hit the driving range for the other side of the game.
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    International Coach PhoenixFire's Avatar
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    People are saying it's too young, but surely that only applies if the child doesn't really want to play?

    If he wants to play and is keen, then I don't really see why it is too young to play mini-golf or have a hack at a driving range, if he isn't being pushed I can't really imagine any problems from that.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Take him to a putting green and play a round of putting.

    Did this with my parents when I was younger and went on holidays to St Andrews. Was great fun, had great fun competing with my brother. There's no excessive long walks, and you don't have to worry about having clubs that are too heavy or inappropriate. Besides, it will help him refine the most difficult skill there is in golf, when I played as a teenager I played off 18, but the one area of the game I never really struggled with was my putting, because I'd spent years doing that.

    If he seems to enjoy it and is into it then get a couple of clubs cut down for him and take him to the driving range and just let him whack balls as far as he can.

    Pitch and putt isn't a bad idea either - introduces him to playing "proper" golf, but isn't too demanding for a young kid.

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    My dad got me a junior set of clubs when I was 5. Loved it.
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  14. #14
    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Goughy,

    You might want to take a look at "Bounce: How champions are made."

    It's a book written by Mattew Syed (table tennis champion, broadcaster, etc) that has recently got a lot of good press

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    "Golf, like measles, should be caught young." - P.G. Wodehouse.
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