by Abbey Algiers
There are so many ways we can help our daughters become better golfers. We can buy them really great clubs or cute golf outfits to encourage them to go practice. Of course, there are other, practical things like lessons or golf camp. And, if all else fails, there’s always Happy Gilmore. But even though these are all tactics to help shape our girls into golfers who can hold their own with a driver, there’s one very important piece that we can’t forget as we encourage our girls to golf.
What they want (even though they might deny it) is our attention. They like it when we take them out to the range. They love our praise and appreciate our guidance. Yes, they will pout and protest when we ask them to switch their grips or slow down their backswings, but secretly, they love the attention and do listen to our advice (even though it may not always seem like it).
They are also watching us.
Whether she knows it or not, you can be your girls’ biggest influence when it comes to learning about golf. Some things to remember as you introduce your girls to the game:
You are their #1 role model.
Golf is the perfect platform for teaching your kids about how to handle bad shots and bad holes. What do you do when luck is just not on your side? Keep in mind, there’s always an audience when you duff or ace shots. Act accordingly and try to be a good role model. If we have a positive attitude towards golf, kids will pick up on that and not feel like it’s the end of the world when shots go awry. It’s only a game, after all.
Golf is a game of honor and etiquette.
As you teach your daughter how to get out of the sand trap, don’t forget the far more powerful lessons that exist all around the course. Play “for real” and teach your daughter about general course etiquette like the honor system, repairing divots, and marking balls. Build a foundation of honor and etiquette and your daughter will be able to play anywhere.
Again, they are always watching you.
Set a good example by being friendly to other golfers you meet on the course. Praise your daughter and others you are golfing with when they have good shots. Give a shout out to the guy on the other fairway who had an awesome drive. Become a positive force on the course, and your daughter will pick up your energy and develop a great feeling for the game.
Work in fun.
In the beginning, golf isn’t always that fun, and we all know there are frustrating moments. Find ways to work in little bets on the course and make each hole a competition based not necessarily on score but on certain skills.
“Who can get closest to the pin?”
“Who had the straightest putt?”
Have a contest that leads to a prize like ice cream or Starbucks at the end of the game.
Kids feel important when their parents talk them up in front of friends.
Show your daughter off to other golfers as you play or practice on the range. Introduce your daughter to golfing friends in the clubhouse. Pump up her game and make it a topic of conversation off the course as well. By attaching importance to her dedication to the game, you’ll encourage her to want to golf more—and you’ll build her self-esteem!
With any luck, our girls will grow to love the game, and the hours of practice will reap positive results. They may even become really good! Who knows—perhaps they’ll play golf in college or even after. However, in the end, whether your daughter becomes a member of the Tour or never picks up a club again after your lessons, you can pat yourself on the back, knowing you’ve introduced her to a sport that’s based on honor and integrity. And, when it’s all said and done, your daughter will remember the time and attention you gave her, and you’ll find you’ve gained a golfing partner and friend for life.