The ideal learning environment for junior golfers is FUN! At US Kids Golf we teach coaches to operate using 6 keys:
1. Teach Lightly – This means no lectures, no sitting around. Teach a new skill in 60 seconds then…
2. Play a game that increases the skill your introducing – After a short 60 second lesson and demonstration, launch into a game that helps the learner get better at what your teaching. For example, we use a large tic tac toe board on the green and multiple sets of colored balls. Each student gets 5 balls of the same color and tries to create a tic tac toe. Getting a tic tac toe means they have solved the problems of distance and direction control of a ball rolling on the ground.
3. Measure and award – For us, we have a 10 level curriculum with 5 skills at each level: Putting, Around the Green, Full Swing, Knowledge and Scoring. For each skill at each level the students have the opportunity to earn these pins. When they earn all 5 they level up and earn all 5 again.
4. Have a Next – In the old days, we taught the same thing over and over. By using a baby step approach with 10 levels of curriculum, there is always a next step, level, award etc.
5. Get on the Course – Getting on the course is essential for connecting the dots between what we are practicing on the range and what the game is about. Even getting out and playing a hole from 50 or 100 yards with 6 as a target score connects the dots and allows kids to get on course.
6. Include the Parents – We encourage parents to come close and when they do, we tell them to please repeat what they hear us say or what is written in the booklet for the level they are working on….please don’t add anything else…which means you’ll never say keep your head down and your left arm straight.
Following these 6 keys and allowing kids to progress at their own pace (structure without restraint) has created a very robust junior golf academy for us and many US Kids Certified Golf Coaches.
We make golf fun enough, long enough, till they can’t get enough!