Please read the Equipment for Under 4 post on our Equipment page. I want to repeat here that you should get plastic clubs for kids who are two or three years old.
One thing we did at this stage with the plastic golf clubs is make sure at least half of his time with them was “practice” time. Yes, you have every reason to consider your young child at this point an actual golfer. Now we’re not talking on the range for an hour practice time here. Just be sure you encourage controlled swings with the purpose of stroking the plastic ball to a target, not just aimlessly swinging and hitting the ball. Even a patient dog’s butt (super fun for the toddler!), a doll on the floor, a chair leg, a cup for the set, all good “practice” for controlled swing and hitting a target.
Think about having a second plastic setup and you can have little contests with your child golfer, or, you can even share clubs.
Keep in mind the four basic parts of a golf swing:
- the setup,
- the back swing,
- the through swing, and
- the finish.
These four parts can be taught to a young child golfer.
For the setup: have them straddle the ball, club behind it, and count to three before the back swing.
For the back swing and through swing: after counting to three in the setup, have them say “peanut” in the back swing and “butter” in the through swing, or “Coca” “Cola”, or anything they have fun saying that has a tempo.
For the finish: our son “won” a trophy during his golf after school enrichment class at two and a half. He was very proud. We always told him, and still do … “finish like your trophy.” Visuals are better than words at this age and they can see the trophy and imitate it. Go to a trophy shop, or on line, and buy a small golf trophy with a golfer on it. Have your own tournament and award the trophy to your child golfer. Then you can do what we did.
Don’t hesitate to let them have fun. Certainly don’t expect nor try to have golf time at this age be all on target. Different kids will have different focus and attention span. Try to slip some of the practice above when you can; may be more the better, but maybe not, you’ll have to read your own child on that. Do try though to include some “target” practice and not all free form swinging.
At about three and a half, we moved to a toy metal set of golf clubs. These cannot be used in the house. More on this next stage in another post.