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The "Dog Blog"

We’ll skip over “because it is better than playing video games all the time” (which it is), and focus on the valuable life skills they will gain from participation.

1. Lifelong friendships: You never know who you will meet on a golf course or at a golf club, but they are among the easiest places to meet people and make new friends outside of school.  After all, you’re playing alongside three other people engaged in a similar frustrating pursuit (putting the little ball into the hole) for four hours! Best of all, golf creates a unique bond so those friendships can be developed all over the world and last a lifetime!

2. Time Spent Outdoors: Too few children are outside these days.  Getting your child off the couch or up from the basement and away from the video screen is not easy.  Golf is the perfect excuse to spend an entire day breathing fresh air and developing healthy exercise habits! And playing golf doesn’t have to be about just hitting balls, find a way to work in some healthy competition as well. A Swedish study has shown that golfers live an average of 5 years longer!!

 

3. Anyone Can Play: You’ve seen it; golfers come in all shapes and sizes. Successful golfers are tall or short, round or thin, young or old, slow or fast.  You don’t have to be strong or fast like in football or tall for basketball, or have the hand eye coordination to hit a 90 mile an hour fastball.  Golf champions come in every shape and size imaginable. Beyond that, it’s never too early to start, and unlike most other sports you can enjoy golf well into the December of your years. Golf is a sport where participants range from 5 to 95 which makes it unique.  It’s about technique not physical strength and has handicap system that gives you a level playing field on which to compete and an equal chance to win.

4. Minimal Physical Risk: Unlike many other popular sports like football, basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse the chances of injury, especially serious injury, are almost non- existent; golf is a true non-contact sport.

5. Safe and positive environment: For the most part a golf course is a safe environment that promotes “mentoring relationships” which is a fancy way to say that old golfers love to give young golfers advice on how to play the game.

6. College Scholarships:  Like with any sport they may take up, the earlier your child starts, the greater his or her chance is of gaining access to scholarship money.  Many courses are even promoting services where they help young promising golfers gain exposure to college coaches.

 7. Important Life Lessons: Golf closely parallels real life as one experiences the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” all in the same round.   The full expanse of the experience, from eagles to double bogeys, help teach a young person rewards a young person to keep each shot in perspective, manage emotions, maintain a positive outlook and focus on the next shot. As they learn to conduct themselves on the golf course, these lessons will translate directly into everyday life. I have used the adage “play golf” in business and politics a hundred times.  It means don’t react to outside uncontrollable forces – stay within yourself and play your game – don’t go chasing after your competitors, just be better at your own game than they are.  Sam Snead said “don’t play against others play against par”  Likewise, your children will learn things like honesty, integrity, discipline, and patience. These personality traits will be taken and used in everyday life. Throw in the added bonus that there are a lot of successful role models from all walks of life at every golf club who can have a great impact on a young person's life.

8. Spend time with family: Golf is a game that just screams “family participation.” When children are young, they enjoy doing just about anything with you – don’t you wish that continued? Imagine starting the day with breakfast at the golf club, moving to a family lesson from the club pro, and then a long leisurely round of golf with a couple of ‘friendly bets’ along the way.  Talk about quality family time!  Who knows, you may also meet other families doing the same thing; you never know who you’re going to meet on the golf course.

9. Prepare for business: It’s hard to think about it now but kids grow up and the people they meet as children can play a huge part in their success later in life. Golf is a sport that helps prepare kids and teens for careers in business and other professional arenas. Even at 12 yrs. of age,  I was learning about real life business every day from all the adults I played with.

10. It is FUN: This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the best reasons to get your son or daughter involved with golf is that they’ll have an absolute blast. They’ll have the chance to learn new skills both physical and mental, make new friends and discover new opportunitieThere are a million things you can buy your kids or gift your kids in the hope that it helps them learn and grow, only a few make a real impact.  Encouraging them to play golf is one!

Next Steps:
•    Get your kids some lessons with a local pro. We have two very talented professional instructors here at Dogwood.  Check out the instructional tab on our website.
•    Get them a junior membership, normally amazingly cheap compared to other activities (say about $100 bucks for a year.)
•    Give yourself a high five for doing something that will make a real difference in your child’s life!