It used to be that when most people thought about golf, the image of a 77-year-old Jack Nicklaus wearing the coveted Masters' green jacket is often what came to mind.
But thanks to a 21-year-old Tiger Woods, who won the Masters 20-years-ago, golf has gotten younger. In fact, 33-year-old Marc Leishman and 32-year-old Dustin Johnson are the oldest golfers to have won non-alternate field events this year — with ESPN predicting that the golfers to watch are all under 25.
With younger players out on the course, kids are now paying more attention to the sport. And thanks to Woods' having set the fitness bar exponentially higher, there are many reasons for parents to get behind the sport. The skills golf requires — hand-eye coordination, precision, and of course, patience — are great for any kid to master.
Think your child would enjoy hitting the links? Here are a fun fun golf games they can try to see if they're ready for the green:
Indoor Putting Games: Let's start with a basic yet underrated golf skill that your kid can practice inside and out. Putting is convenient because it can be done indoors on the carpet or outside on the grass. Turn cups on their sides, with the hole facing you. To make it more fun, set up a few different cups, and have each hole/cup worth varying points — the farther away the cup, the more points they're worth!
More Putting Games: The Inspired Tree House offers a number of fun putting games. Stork Putting requires golfers to stand on one foot while trying to put the ball in the hole! Another involves placing a long piece of tape in down a length of driveway or along any walkway and challenge golfers to try to putt the ball down the line.
Chipping Ladder: Being able to chip a shot is an important part of any golf game, especially as young golfers build upper body strength. Beth Myers, My Little Golfer guest blogger, has come up with a few games to help kids build this skill. A few kids can play Chipping Ladder at the same time. Simply, line up a few golf balls then ask the golfers to wedge and chip each one onto the green. Next pick a spot just short of the hole, where each golfer's putt must land. Golfers take turns putting. Players take turn trying to chip their shots past where the previous golfers' landed, directing their ball ever closer but just shy of the hole. Golfers' whose putts pass the hole are eliminated.