There is no one-size-fits-all answer to getting your child interested in golf but here are a variety of suggestions that all can work if handled properly. How old the child is when you introduce them to golf has a tremendous impact on what will work and what won’t. The sooner you get started, the better.
You can introduce a child to golf as soon as they can easily maintain their balance. I have seen this happen with children as young as two and a half. Once they get old enough to develop their own interests it become much harder.
Get them a plastic golf club and some whiffle balls. I find it best to start with baseball sized whiffle balls initially because are simply easier to hit and get off the ground. You can move them to golf ball sized later.
This works really well because it can be done in a small area around your house. If you don’t have access to a yard it works just as well at a playground or park.
If They Are A Little Older
If your children are a little older then take them to play miniature golf. At this level, it is still easy and fun. Hopefully the fun they have there will lead them to wonder how much fun regular golf might be.
You can also bring them to the driving range. It is a good idea to bring one or two of their friends along and let them try to hit a few balls. DO NOT give them any instruction unless they ask for it. It needs to be as much fun as possible and children learn by watching and doing. They learn almost nothing by listening.
You can also take them to the course with you during a slow time and let them see how much fun you are having. They are more likely to want to join in if they see you having fun.
One word of caution: it is all about them. If they see you getting upset, mad, or frustrated then you probably have ruined it for them.
Once They Are In Their Teens
Now it is really getting tough. They already have other interests and other sports that they play which don’t include golf. The only thing that has a chance of working at this point is exposure to golf.
I had friends that didn’t play golf and thought it was silly, but they would come watch me play a golf match against another school and eventually they decided they could do that. Today, they are all avid golfers.
You can also take them to watch a PGA Tour event live. That is a totally different experience than watching it on television. Find out where the closest one is and make a trip or outing out of it. Hopefully it will include some of the young players they might have heard of, but it doesn’t need to be a major.
The key to getting them interested in golf is getting them started as early as possible. Even if they develop other interests later it will always be easier for them when they get exposed to golf at a young age. Picking it back up as an adult will also be much easier if they develop some type of swing as a child. Therefore be sure and expose them early and make it as much fun as possible.
Do not make their first exposure to it some type of organized program unless they have express an interest in doing that. They do not need golf instruction in the early stages unless you have a program nearby that has a wonderful reputation for success with children.
Good luck with your kids and introduce them to the sport of a life time.