Golf Schools: Better than Camp for Juniors?

Your family has always promoted a healthy interest in golf when it comes to your children. You hit the green for family outings and encourage your kids to pick up the clubs at an early age. What’s the next step? You might consider sending your child to a golf school or a golf camp. Both of these options can promote a fun game of golf with other kids in your child’s age groupshutterstock_132404543. If you’re wondering about the difference between these two schools of golf though, look no further. Check out a few frequently asked questions that will help you choose a level of training for your junior golfers.

Golf School vs. Golf Camp

What is the difference between golf school and golf camp? The biggest difference is the amount of time your child will be immersed in golf throughout the day and the size of the classes. Golf camps tend to have larger class sizes and a higher student-to-teacher ratio. Schools often have smaller classes, so teachers can offer more personalized instruction. Depending on the golf camp, students might be required to stay all day or stay overnight. Most schools run classes that last only a few hours, yet schools can also offer classes that last all day. Most parents are also more likely to send their children to a golf school that is closer to home since schools don’t offer overnight accommodations.

What Are Examples of Golf Schools?

Depending on the school, your child’s program could vary greatly. Some schools offer classes at extremely high costs with professional instructors. Other schools offer a laid-back environment. Depending on your area of the country, you can find a school that fits your kids’ needs. Bird Golf on Jekyll Island in Georgia offers kids a comprehensive course. This school also offers a three-day camp, so make sure you check out the school if you’re interested in lessons. Nike Golf also offers schools all over the United States in nearly every major city; they also offer camps too. The Grand Cypress Academy of Golf also offers lessons that last from one-to-five days.

                                                                               How Much Do Golf Schools Cost?

shutterstock_116480965The price of schools can vary greatly. Many smaller schools that operate through country clubs or local community centers start at around $50. Monthly classes can start at around $100 at a private school or club. More comprehensive programs start at around $250 per student. Many of the pricier options offer classes with famous or world-class trainers and golfers.

Are Scholarships Available?

Scholarships are available for a variety of students who show promise in the game of golf. Some of the most popular scholarships come from the American Junior Golf Association, the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association and through the individual schools. Smaller clubs and golf schools often offer scholarships to children who show a financial need or who show great promise in the game of golf. Contact your local club or school to find out more.

Who Should Consider Golf School?

Any child who wants to gain a better understanding of the game of golf should sign up for golf school. Kids who have taken a few lessons or have putted around with Mom and Dad and want to better their form and their game would enjoy such classes. Golf school can also help kids learn to appreciate the game of golf and gain a deeper enjoyment of the sport. Kids should start out in a program that offers lessons once or twice a week to see if they want to continue further with their training. They can then move on to more advanced training, full-day sessions or overnight camps.

What Times of Year Are Best for Golf School?

Depending on where you live, you might consider sending your child to golf school during a certain time of year. Kids who live in areas of the country with four seasons, like New England, the Great Lakes or the Pacific Northwest might enjoy lessons during the summer; this might also be the only time outdoor lessons are offered in these areas of the country! Kids who live in Florida, Arizona or Texas might enjoy golf lessons better during the winter as these areas can get quite hot in the summer. Many schools also offer indoor camps to keep games fresh throughout the off-season.

What Will Your Kids Learn?shutterstock_95571682

Kids will learn plenty of golf skills that include proper alignment, the proper putting techniques, the short and medium chip, how to grip the handle of the putter and how to swing. Your kids can also learn valuable life lessons that they will take with them into adulthood. Many of these lessons include how to be patient, how to encourage others, how to have proper etiquette and how to be safe on the green.

Do You Need Previous Skills?

Most kids should have a very basic knowledge of golf. They should have at least visited the driving range a few times, held a golf club and learned some of the basic terminology. Your child doesn’t need many previous skills, but it’s best to learn if your child enjoys the game before signing up for classes. Classes start from very basic and move up to very advanced, so your child can be placed in the correct category of experience. Once your child’s needs are assessed, he or she can begin taking classes. Your child can also move up or down within classes depending on progress or need to revisit information.

How Old is the Minimum Age?shutterstock_306926147

Most experts agree that children should begin taking lessons at the age of seven or eight. Any earlier, and the child might not have the appreciation or skillset to enjoy the game. Many golf clubs won’t let kids on the green until they are 13 years old. That being said, you should introduce your children to the game of golf as soon as possible. The earlier you introduce your kids to golf and make golf fun, the earlier your kids can begin enjoying the game. Many clubs also offer instruction for kids as young as six that encourages fun on the green.

Can My Child Play Other Sports Too?

Yes, your child should be encouraged to play other sports if he or she is interested! Children who stay active in off-seasons experience a smooth transition back into the golfing season. Games like tennis, lacrosse and polo can all help your child sharpen his or her golf skills. Encouraging your child to stay active is an important part of raising a healthy golfer. When your child reaches the age of 15, he or she can begin playing golf exclusively and focusing on golf alone. Make sure your child is ready to make this commitment though. Making this decision too early can negatively affect your child’s relationship with golf.

Can My Child Begin Playing in Tournaments?

While your child can begin playing in tournaments as soon as he or she feels ready, make sure they continue to focus on the “fun” aspect of golf. Don’t encourage your kids to get too serious too soon. This can lead to trouble down the road. As long as your child is enjoying the game still, they can move on to more advanced and more serious gameplay.

Should I Spring for Private Lessons?

If your child wants to seriously improve his or her game, you might consider private lessons. Don’t focus on private lessons alone though. Many children will become disinterested in the game when the “fun factor” is removed. You can introduce a private lesson every once in a while to help your child improve his or her form, yet keep including group lessons, family outings and golf games with friends to ensure your child stays engaged.

What Do I Do If My Child Seems Disengaged?

shutterstock_89093275Your child might become disengaged or lack interest in lessons for one of two reasons. Either your child doesn’t find the game a fun activity anymore or he or she doesn’t feel challenged. Make sure your child is paired up with other students that are within the correct age range and skill range. If your child appears bored, he or she could be disinterested because the game isn’t fun anymore. If your child’s game is continuing to advance at a steady rate, he or she might simply have outgrown the class. Once the game isn’t challenging anymore, some kids tend to lose interest. Ask your child’s teacher to consider letting you switch classes.

Engaging your child in serious classes can be a huge step in his or her love for the sport. Make sure you consult with your kids throughout their training to ensure they are having fun and feel challenged. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of time and money on an activity they no longer enjoy. You can still infuse the game with plenty of fun – even if your kids have decided to move up to the next level.

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