Parents Guide to Golf
Top 10 DO'S
10. Reinforce that your child should be a good sport.
For example, emphasise shaking hands after a round, no matter how bitter the contest and never belittling someone to make yourself feel better.
9. Limit your conversations about golf.
Let them know you are interested, but also interested in all aspects of their lives!
8. Have realistic expectations for your child’s success in golf.
Try to be objective when your child is not being picked for teams or struggling with their performances.
They are not mini-adults; they are maturing young people who make many mistakes (that’s how they learn) as well as doing many great things (sometimes in the same day :-) .
7. Support the coach and don’t try to coach your child!
Especially from the sidelines during a round. Coaching your child, unless you are a part of the coaching staff, makes it very easy to confuse and frustrate the child. It can undermine the coach and destroy coach-athlete trust.
6. Keep it fun.
Try not to take golf too seriously. You will ruin it for your child and they will feel pressure if you are too critical, controlling, or overbearing. Keep it light!
5. Push to follow through on commitments, work hard, and be a good person.
This is the time to challenge your child – when they want to take a short cut that does not show commitment to the sport or the coach. Pushing, however, to win is not healthy and will only create issues between you and your child.
4. Have them play for their reasons, not yours.
Keep in mind that your child wants to be independent from you in some ways, and yet have your support. Let their goals drive their level of involvement. This will lead to less frustration and arguments.
3. Remain calm and composed during rounds.
Avoid shouting at them or officials. Children find it very frustrating and embarrassing when parents shout at officials, or lose their composure.
There is enough pressure on these kids to perform as it is. Your added pressure from reacting to mistakes they make, being critical, negative, and just too emotional create unneeded stress and take away from the fun of the game.
2. Support, Support, Support!
Support your child in many different ways. Listen to them when they need to be heard after a tough round or practice session. Challenge them when they are exhibiting a bad attitude. Confirm what they are going through is normal in sport.
Be empathetic. Never make them feel guilty about “your sacrifices” for them to play. There are many more ways to support than just paying for them to play, transporting them, or giving them tactical advice.
1. Make your love and support unconditional and never contingent on performance.
The biggest issues between parents and their children often come when the parent makes the child feel like their encouragement and love is contingent on their performances.
No matter how your son or daughter plays be encouraging, give them a hug, let them know you love them even if they score over 100, top a tee shot, get a rule wrong etc. A coach can help them with that; the parent needs to play his or her role and support.