Some of you may ask, “Should I get golf lessons from a golf pro for my three year old child?” Well, here’s a straight answer … yes, if your budget is not an issue, no, if budget is a concern at all.
We did not seek child golf lessons at this point, and actually it wasn’t because of budget. Honestly the bang for the buck is too little at this age for formal lessons. More valuable is the time with you and the fun and accolades from you. You are more than likely able to frame in the foundation for setup, grip, controlled back and through swing, contact, and finish. This is all we did. We always mixed in challenges and contests.
Though as I mention above, if your budget allows, lessons from a golf pro who specializes in young children can certainly be good. Even today however, I spend time to understand the golf swing and what his pro teaches, and spend time with my son on his swing.
I believe at this age of under three years, and actually through eleven years old, the time you spend together with your child in this wonderful activity is the most valuable for you personally, and to their game and interest. One could argue that Tiger Woods’ success is due to how close the interaction between him and his dad Earl was when he was a child golfer. One could argue further that the interaction itself, not the instruction, may actually have been the most significant factor.
Schedule regular golf “practice” sessions with your child golfer to build into their mind set the need for regular practice. During those sessions, reinforce the basics, and use contests or challenges to make it fun. Remember the accolades if they hit it well, and “nice efforts” if they miss. And knuckle bumps and high fives and hats-off hand shakes when finished. We introduced the concept of par, birdie, and bogey. We would set up a shot where he had to chip it close, then but it in for par. And by in we mean, under the chair, through the closet door, just any fun target that presented a challenge.
You’ll lay a nice foundation for formal lessons later if you simply follow the above. Remember, it’s about the fun and developing a sense of success and interest in golf. Don’t focus on results at all, unless you always qualify success as the result of good effort, and good effort is the goal, not the result.
For us and I hope for you, our time with our child is absolutely the number one priority. If you decide to seek lessons, stay involved, and not just as a spectator. Your involvement will be important later when it comes to tournaments and caddying and, well, enjoy your child golfer all you can!