It goes without saying that golf is a sport with deep traditions. While this can be a cool aspect for some, drawing them into the game, it can also prove to be a turn-off for others. Modern golf is definitely not your grandfather’s game. While many of golf traditions remain today, a more relaxed and expanded definition of what golf is has helped to modernize the experience. This has greatly increased the popularity of the sport and increased the number of people that call themselves golfers. With the positive momentum and growth, golf has seen in recent years, there remains a mind-boggling number of individuals that are currently “non-golfers” that say they are “very interested” in playing the game. According to the National Golf Foundation, that number stands at roughly 17.8 million Americans.
Of those 17.8 million “non-golfers” more than a quarter of them are Juniors, aged 6 to 17. In both 2018 and 2019, there were 2.5 million Junior Golfers. In 2020 and 2021, during what has been coined as the COVID boom in golf, the number of Junior Golfers rose to 3.1 million. The wild thing about the potential for growing the game among juniors is that there are more kids that don’t play golf currently, but are very interested in doing so than there are kids that call themselves golfers.
With that said, I want to share some tips to help your child become a golfer in 2022 and beyond…
- Embrace the Off Course Experience: Top Golf, Drive Shack, PopStroke, and other off-course facilities have played a massive role in the growth of the game over the past few years. Not only are these experiences great gateways for adults into the game, but they also prove as an excellent way to get kids interested in golf. Top Golf for example, has an Angry Birds game that is perfect for your son or daughter.
- Embrace Golf Gaming Opportunities: Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that kids love gaming today more than at any other point in history. Whether it’s on a computer, console, mobile device, or even through the very popular VR systems that exist, there are great golf-related games. Two very popular golf games for VR include ProPutt and GOLF+…both brought to you by your friends at Top Golf.
- Get them involved in Popular Group Golf Initiatives: PGA Junior League Golf, Drive, Chip and Putt, PGA Junior Golf Camps, and LPGA*USGA Girls Golf are all programs definitely worth exploring for your son or daughter. These programs are intended to provide opportunities for all kids, from beginners to more advanced players.
- Keeping things in Perspective: When kids are asked why they play sports, one of the most common answers is to have fun. Many adults mistakenly think competition is one of the most important things to kids in choosing the sports they decide to play. Even as kids get more and more serious about a sport, having fun remains one of the key reasons why they continue to play. Making sure that you always keep fun at the forefront, at every point along your child’s journey through the game, will help in making golf a true lifetime sport for them.