What Age Should a Child Start Golf? How to Start Early

As the father of three young children, I often get asked this question: what age should a child start golf? My answer is always AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You never know when your kid is ready to start golfing with you. It could be 18 months old or it could be 8 years old. You just don’t know until you try.

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It is important to have very low expectations for that first round of golf. Your kid will be in a new environment with new rules. They might respond favorably or you could be leaving the course after a few holes.

what age should a child start golf
Jacob golfing with his 4 year old daughter

Some of my favorite rounds of golf have been with my now 4 year old daughter. There is something exciting about sharing one of your passions with your children. Honestly, I would pick golfing with my daughter over golfing with my friends. I love seeing her face light up when she hits a good shot.

Tips to Help Your Kids Enjoy Golf

Golfing with your kids is a lot of fun if you do it right! It can take some real effort to make it a low stress, enjoyable experience for you kids. Here are some tips to make it an fun experience:

Keep it Fun

Emphasize enjoyment over rules. There are so many rules on a golf course that it will make their little heads spin. Let them have fun if they aren’t destroying the golf course or bothering other golfers. It’s okay to let them play in the bunker for a bit or grab a ball from the water.

Do your best to make it a fun game and celebrate their successes, no matter how small. They will love being on the golf course if you make it fun and let them explore.

Pick the Right Golf Course

Some golf courses have an outright ban on kids under a certain age. Most courses in my area don’t allow children under the age of 6. It is a disappointing rule, but I understand.

There are always low key, shorter golf courses that allow kids. Golf the Round in Salt Lake City even lets the kids play for free. So don’t be discouraged if your favorite golf course doesn’t allow children. There is likely a golf course nearby that is kid-friendly.

I’ve never met a kid that has the attention span for a full 18 holes. Consider playing only a few holes and definitely don’t pay for more than 9 holes if you have young kids.

Teach Basic Skills

Don’t get too technical with your kids. They just want to swing the golf club without you telling them all the things they are doing wrong.

Focus on fundamental skills like grip, stance, and club selection. In my experience, they don’t seem to mind being taught how to set up to the ball. They just don’t like being taught all the swing fundamentals right away.

Keep instructions simple and be SUPER patient.

Use the Right Equipment

Kids golf equipment has come a long ways in the past few years. There are quality golf clubs available for children from the time they turn 18 months old. Lazrus Golf has inexpensive clubs for kids that perform extremely well. I’ve even hit a few bombs with with one arm using the kids driver.

Best Kids Clubs
Lazrus Juniors Golf Clubs Set - Ages 2-5

Custom design with colored graphite shafts, custom LAZRUS grips and premium heads. Lightweight shaft and heads are designed to be easy on kids.

Get Junior Clubs on Lazrus Get Junior Clubs on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Make sure your kids have clubs that are suitable for their size and strength. Use lighter clubs with bigger heads to make it easier for them to hit the ball. Also make sure they have a putter they like, because that will most likely be their favorite thing to do.

what age should a child start golf
Excitement after making a putt

Play as a Team

For the sake of time, it’s always best to play a scramble format with your kids. This encourages teamwork and makes them feel like they are playing golf WITH you, instead of alongside you. There will come a time when they won’t want to play a scramble with you, so enjoy it.

Playing a scramble will appease the old guys trying to play fast, too. They seem to be irked every time they see a kid on the course because they think it will cause slow play. Assure them you will be playing a scramble and you will stay on pace.

Create Fun Challenges

Bring fun colored golf balls and tees. Tell your kids to hit the different colored golf balls to see which one goes farthest before selecting their ball for the round.

Aim at things that aren’t the hole. Try to hit a tree or a specific sand bunker. Try to hit each others feet with the ball on the tee box while you wait for the group in front of you. There are so many things your kid will enjoy about the golf course if you make it fun.

Create fun challenges that don’t only involve hitting the ball into the hole.

Be Patient and Encouraging

Golf can be frustrating, especially for kids. They see you hit the ball 200 plus yards off the tee and expect to do the same. It can be discouraging to see their ball tumble 50 yards at best.

Assure them that they are doing extremely well for their size, and they will hit farther as they grow. Celebrate every good shot they make and encourage them when they can’t seem to strike the ball well.

I guarantee there will be times when they get extremely frustrated. The trick is to leave the golf course before they reach the point of complete frustration. If they reach that point, they won’t want to return. Keeping a close eye on your child’s emotions on the golf course is crucial to their enjoyment of the game.

what age should a child start golf
Keeping an accurate score for our round

Snacks and Breaks

Finally something my kids and I always agree on: snack time.

Your kids probably need a few more snack breaks than you typically do. Stop every couple holes and make sure they have the opportunity to drink some water and get a snack. Keep them hydrated and energized with their favorite snacks, drinks, and juice during the round. This will prevent them from getting hangry.

If they are really young, you can reward them with a snack after every hole. That has worked for me before.

Be a Role Model

Have you thrown a tantrum on the golf course before? Have you thrown a club? Yelled? Sworn?

You won’t be doing any of that with your kids around. It might feel nice to get some frustration out while you are with your buddies, but your kids won’t appreciate it. They need a calm and patient role model on the golf course.

Show good sportsmanship and kindness towards other golfers. Kids often learn best by observing others, so model the behavior you want to see in them.

Safety First

Do your best to teach your kids about golf course etiquette and safety rules. They will intuitively follow most of the rules and they will learn the rest by watching you. There is no way they will be perfect at following the rules, but you need to make the effort to teach them.

Make sure they understand the importance of being aware of their surroundings and respecting other players.

Final Thoughts

So what age should a child start golf? My answer will always be AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. These tips will help you make it an enjoyable experience for you child. If you do it right, they will be asking to go golfing with you all the time.

And remember, the goal is to have a positive experience and create fond memories, so keeping it lighthearted and enjoyable is the best recipe for success. Being on the golf course with you could be one of their fondest memories, but you need to make it that way.

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