1. The Teachings of the Game

We all want our kids to develop into responsible adults.  The game of golf has at its core a standard of behavior that lends itself to positive development.  Personal skills such as honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect are all present in golf, regardless of the level of competition.  Golf teaches kids to use good judgment and be responsible for their actions.  It also encourages the highest level of sportsmanship.  What other sport allows you to call a penalty on yourself with examples of this very thing being demonstrated on the biggest stages of the game?

2. College Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships that colleges and universities offer directly to the accomplished golfers coming out of high school, there are numerous avenues to receive monies that can be used to help with the cost of higher education.  Equipment manufacturers, State golf associations, junior golf organizations, and philanthropists who themselves benefited from the game, are all on the list of sources that offer anything from $500 for books to a full-ride scholarship to the student’s school of choice.  In many cases, skill level is not a determining factor for receiving an award:  involvement in the game, good grades, community service, and employment at a golf facility can all be reasons for becoming a scholarship winner.  It’s free money, so take advantage!

3. Family time

When was the last time you played a game of tackle football with your son or field hockey with your daughter?  Golf is a game that families can learn and play together.  And because of the handicap system that was created to determine a golfer’s playing ability and potential, moms and dads can actually compete with their children even if they play from different tee boxes or at significantly different skill levels.  Get the grandparents involved, and you have a game that everyone can enjoy together as a family for years and years.

4. Business contacts

Everyone knows how demanding the business world can be.  It is no secret that some of the biggest deals have been conducted on the golf course.  Imagine (or maybe you don’t have to) what it would be like as a non-golfer working in an office full of golfers.  When the time comes for networking and building the relationships that lead to promotions and access to the best clients, you don’t want your child to be the one stuck back at the office shuffling papers around a desk.  Impress just one client or boss with a skillful golf game or simply a high level of professionalism and conduct as it relates to the game, and your child may have just “punched a ticket” for future success in the industry.

5. Exercise and Fitness

It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight. The physical and emotional issues that can result from childhood obesity are as staggering as the number itself.  Twenty years ago, golf and fitness were rarely uttered in the same sentence, but thanks to a new generation of golf professionals, strength, conditioning and nutrition are a significant part of golf instructional programs.  Would you rather have your son or daughter immersed in the latest video game or walking nine holes with the high school golf team?  As schools are reducing the time spent on physical fitness, it is crucial that kids avoid becoming couch potatoes when they are not in school.  Golf is a great low-impact way to develop the cardio activity, core stability, balance and focus that is necessary to function effectively from day-to-day and reduce the risk of health concerns.

WHY SHOULD CHILDREN PLAY GOLF FROM A YOUNG AGE? Golf is one of the few sports that is enjoyed by both sexes, of all ages, old to play with young, scratch to play with a beginner all while keeping a competitive edge to the game.  Golf continues to be a sport where ethics and integrity still matter. Golf is both an individual and team sport where you are only reliant on yourself to make or contribute to the success. Golf is excellent exercise, it reinforces all the basic development skills that young children need in order to launch sound academic learning. Hand-eye co-ordination, spatial awareness, crossing the midline and bilateral symmetry are only a few of a range of developmental benefits to be gained by playing the game. Golf enhances leadership, confidence, responsibility and courage. There is more to golf than physical skills and technique! Many CEO's regard golf as a test of character for a prospective employee, a way of seeing how they cope with pressure and triumph. In what other game do players report themselves for infringements of the rules?  Golf seems to be becoming a necessary life skill. In the business world, this is where deals are made, as you're free of interruptions, there's time to walk and talk and you have five or six hours of quality time with someone in which one can build relationships. Golf is about self-improvement. The quest for an elusive personal best, over humiliating reminders of our shortcomings, is a reality for golf players. Golf also teaches to let go of the finicky quest for perfection and the acceptance that there will be a next hole, another shot.  Like most great games, golf has enough paradoxes to suit different temperaments: whether you are the type A person striving to be better all the time, or whether you are out to relax and have a good time, golf is for you!