What is the best age to begin to practice golf?
Up until a few years ago, golf was a sport practiced mainly by adults in which the youngest of the family did not seem to fit in. With the passage of time things have changed and golf has become a sport suitable for all audiences, in which the children are taking an important role.
Nowadays there are many parents who want to get their children started in this sport and enroll them in golf courses and camps at an early age.
The doubt that is most often repeated with regards to children’s golf is what is the optimal age to get started in this sport. The best way to resolve it is to know what goals does the child want to achieve and if he/she is looking to practice golf as a hobby or as the beginning of a career in sports. If neither the child nor the parent are interested in the world of the competition, the starting age irrelevant since the only purpose of playing golf will be to enjoy and have fun.
Things change if the child wants to devote to golf in a more professional manner and wants to reach the top in the national and international circuits.
In this case the best option is to start practicing very young. The level of amateur golf is more competitive every day and has a higher level, therefore the children who begin to hit the ball earlier often have a significant advantage over the rest. Their strength, flexibility, coordination and stability are beginning to be developed very soon and get to be maximized.
Formerly there was a belief that up until 8 years it was not suitable to start in golf since the weight of the clubs could create muscle and growth problems.
Today there are plenty of sets of clubs adapted to the younger athletes and specifically designed to avoid any injury. Their composition and lightweight structure adaptable to all heights allows children of all sizes to manage their club to perfection during the swing.
With 3 and 4 years of age children can already get started in this sport, but it is necessary to take into account that they should use plastic clubs and take the “training” as a fun outdoors game.
Touching the ball from such an early age allows the child become familiar with golf and getting to know what its mechanics. As a general rule the experts advise starting to practice golf more regularly at 5 or 6 years of age, so long as they train with special clubs for children. At this age children already have a good muscular development and good motor coordination, and their ability of focus and concentration allows them to absorb all the information necessary to improve quickly and consistently in their swings.
The only characteristic that must be met for all children, no matter how old they are, is that are attracted to this sport and enjoy practicing it. As the great American golfer Harvey Penick said “the best age to introduce a child to golf is the moment in which they become interested in this sport”.