How did you get your boys interested in golf?
I get this question all of the time – I have friends who are avid golfers, but their children never took up the game or showed any interest in playing. I get asked – how did you get both boys to play? What was the trick?
I didn’t set out to force them into the game – it was more about sharing something that I loved to do.
Introducing them to the game doesn’t have to be playing 18 holes
There are so many ways to introduce them to the game, without even hitting balls. When my boys were young, I would let them ride in the cart with me when I played a quick 9 or take them out to putt with me for 15 minutes. We would sit on the deck at our club, eat lunch, and watch people play the 18th hole. I found that just being around the game and seeing me enjoy it is what lit the spark.
Going out to play a quick 9 – let them ride around with you!
Spend the time- play with them- skip your normal weekend group
Once they start hitting balls and want to play holes, it all comes down to spending time with them. Taking them to the course or range. I never forced them to play or practice, but on any weekend — if they wanted to play, that is what I chose to do. Skip your weekend group or your normal foursome — much more rewarding to spend those four hours with your junior golfer. It can turn your child away from the game if they associate golf with something that takes you away for 5 hours or if you would rather play with your friends than them. The really cool thing – as they get older and more advanced, they can join your weekend group!
Golf is not life- keep it multi-sport // multi-activity
It is critical for them to do more than just golf. Let them try everything. Over the years my boys have done flag football, soccer, basketball, swimming, and now something called Spikeball :). Several times over the years I have asked them to rank their favorite sports/activities and golf was rarely #1.
It is ok if they lose interest in golf during a different season — there are months when my younger son doesn’t practice golf once and then something happens and he asks to go every day. I try my best to never push — much better when he practices on his terms. I also have a few tricks to suck him back in ? — he loves to play in parent-child (father-son) tournaments. Or, I set up a match with one of my friends – he loves to try and beat the old guys.
He loves to challenge my friends to a match!
Ultimately, getting them involved with the game early is a lifetime gift. It has been said a thousand times, but you play golf from age 5 to 105. Can’t say that about Spikeball! ?
About the author
Mike Harris is a former college golfer and dedicated father of two talented junior golfers. With a passion for the sport that began in his own childhood, Mike now focuses on helping his children, Avery and Olivia, navigate the world of junior golf. He’s eager to share tips, advice, and insights with other families on their own golf journeys. Join Mike as he tees off into the exciting realm of junior golf, providing guidance to parents and kids alike.