If you are going to take your child onto the golf course it is less about what they SHOULD do and more about what we LET THEM do, here are a few of our thoughts/ideas…
…make up the rules, break the rules, make up different scoring formats and challenges.
…cheat! – we often impose adult rules/values on children too soon, so what might be cheating for an adult is probably not the same for children. They can learn the “proper” rules when they need to or even better, when they ask!
…keep score, make their score up, get it wrong
…carry their own bag, pick their own club, use the “wrong” club, use the same club all of the way round, children love just whacking their driver! And in fact playing golf along the ground can be easier
…miss the ball, miss it again, miss it again and again, count how many misses they have? Are they getting fewer. If so, leave them alone. if they miss the ball and do not stop looking at the ball (ie, they are still engaged in the task) then just leave them to it
…make mistakes, fail, get it wrong
…hunt for golf balls
…look out for birds, fish, wildlife – a walk around a golf course will mean that you will see LOTS of different things. Even just looking up at the trees and the sky as you play will interest the children.
…take a rest – walking round a golf course can be a long way! Have a picnic half way round
…play in a bunker, make marks and then rake it
…start where they like, play your ball/play from where your ball finished, start them where they have chance of making eagles, birdies, pars
…throw/kick the ball – have a run around, hop, skip, jump
…make up new words for different things
…talk when people are playing
…borrow and use your clubs, even though they may be miles too big!
…play crazy shots from crazy places
…hit balls into the bunker/water/puddles
…wear what they like and feel comfortable in
…put their own ball on the tee and/or don’t bother using a tee!
…stop when they want to – skip a couple of holes to get nearer to the club house
LET them PLAY!
LET them be children!
LET them be themselves!
What else should we let children do when playing on the course?