Play Golf as a Family

By Matt Keel

The weather is good. The family is together. What sounds better than going out to the course and play a round of golf as a family? At times, these rounds of golf with the family can turn into an unpleasant experience causing your family to abandon the game of golf altogether.   When playing golf with the family the goal is not to be competitive or train your kids for the US Open. The goal should be to enjoy the time together, on the green grass, playing a game. Here are a few tips to make your family round of golf more enjoyable.

Tip #1:
Don’t play by  the rules!

When you are out playing with your family, you don’t need to follow every USGA rule in the book. Select which rules you’ll follow and which to ignore.   Tee the ball from a distance that is appropriate for the skill level and age of the player. For younger kids, let them tee off from 100 yards away from the green. Take the ball out of bunkers and hazards and place the ball on grass. If someone is having difficulty on a hole, let them pick up the ball and put it on the green.

Tip #2:
Set the game up to be fun!

Although a lot of us take golf seriously, golf is just a game. Games are supposed to be fun. To keep the game fun, take off some of the external pressures on the golf course. Play just nine holes rather than eighteen to start. Eighteen holes can be a long day for the family, especially if it is hot outside. Play in the afternoon when the course is slower. Nothing takes the fun out of golf more than trying to keep up with the group in front of you on a busy day on the course. Always focus on the positive. Encourage each other and talk about the good shots, putts or scores on a hole. Leave the bad holes behind.

Tip #3:
Limit instruction!

The biggest mistake I see from parents is over teaching their kids. I have seen parents tell their kids ten things to do in their swing. When the child is completely confused, he or she hits a bad shot and the parent tells them ten new things to do. The golf swing happens so quickly it is impossible for anyone to have more than one or two thoughts. When I teach kids, I give them three steps to complete in order. The first two steps are in the setup while I only give them one swing thought. If you are unsure what to teach your family, seek the help of a Golf Professional. You can save a lot of time and aggravation by starting off right.

Playing golf with the family can be an enjoyable and memorable experience. Set yourself up for a great time by playing by the rules that matter to you, make the game fun, and limit instruction. I had some great times playing golf with my Dad and brothers when I was young.   Remember that golf is a game and it is supposed to be fun. The important thing is to get out to the course and have some great times.

Wildfire Golf academy has programs year round geared to help improve the golf skills of every member of the family. For more information, contact me at Mattkeel@pga.com.