Teaching Young Kids Golf

Teaching Young Kids Golf

Few things compare to the beautiful sound of a club crisply meeting the ball before launching cleanly into the air with radar locked on the distant pin. Sharing and fostering that love of the sport with the children in your life can be equally as priceless.

As you likely know, the Lehigh Valley has no shortage of sprawling, picturesque golf courses and abundant opportunities for young golfers. teaching kids golf at a young age can light a spark that changes their trajectory in life.

At Brookside Country Club, juniors begin learning golf between 7 and 10 years of age, focusing on short game and putting. Assistant Golf Professional Ross Moyer says they start with a lot of flexibility and let kids explore golf their own way. By age 10, the lessons become more technical, focusing on more specific techniques.

“When just beginning, we really focus on short game, pitching and chipping, short shots 10-50 yards away, and we focus more on putting,” Moyer says. “Once they’re a little older,” he adds, “they start playing a little bit, and we might start working on a skilled area or a specific technique.”

The family-oriented golf club coaches about 30-50 students in a season, typically from June through the end of August for school-aged students. Brookside also runs two-week-long golf camps during the summer with morning and afternoon options.

“The Lehigh Valley has a pretty strong junior’s program, thanks to Karl Gilbert. He’s a huge influence in the valley as far as junior golf goes,” Moyer says.

Gilbert serves as executive director and founder of the Golf Association of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour, which began in 1994 Each year, the organization hosts tournaments with many opportunities for young golfers to play. The 2020 Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour has lined up 29 tournaments for boys and girls ages 9-11, 12-13, 14-15, and 16-19. Last year saw more than 160 kids participate.

“The purpose of the Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour,” Moyer says, “is to expose young men and women—ages 9 through 19—to competitive golf. An integral part of this mission is exposing youngsters to proper golf course etiquette, scoring procedures, sportsmanship, and an appreciation for the traditions of the game.”

A Lehigh Valley Golf Hall of Fame inductee himself, Gilbert encourages parents to embrace and act upon their children’s interest and talents in the sport of golf. He says the Lehigh Valley offers great youth clinics and golf lessons across its many golf courses and golf facilities. He’s a proponent of kids getting an early start in golf.

“The best way to get a child started in golf is to have them take individual golf lessons from a certified PGA golf professional, or from an experienced golf teaching professional,” Gilbert says. “Keep the instruction simple by focusing on basic pre-swing setup, address posture, swing fundamentals, and chipping and putting. Learn the fundamentals of golf right the first time, so that poor posture or swing habits do not have to be remediated,” he states.

Gilbert adds that it’s essential to reinforce that “golf is a scoring game” with the low score as the winner. He recommends teaching and practicing “short game” fundamentals for chipping and putting as well as shots from 100 yards to the hole.

“For every minute a child spends practicing their golf swing, they should correspondingly spend 2 minutes on practicing chipping and putting,” he says.

“The Junior Golf Tour offers a positive and structured environment in which children can compete,” Gilbert says.

The Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour has enjoyed many great achievements over the years. Notably, many accomplished high school, collegiate, and professional golfers went through the program, including five boys’ and girls’ state high school golf champions. Numerous golf students also received golf scholarships, won regional and state amateur tournaments, and even scored four regional golf open championships, along with a seemingly endless list of other accolades in and around the Lehigh Valley’s golf scene.

With so much talent and opportunity, the Lehigh Valley’s a great place to begin for budding young golfers.


Lehigh Valley golf aficionado Karl Gilbert shares that golf offers many health benefits for children who are interested in the sport. Here are some of the key life lessons kids can learn by taking up golf.

“Children can learn from golf and youth sports that if they have some talent for a particular sport, and if they are willing to work hard to develop their talents, they can earn accomplishments,” Gilbert says.

“A positive relationship between a golf instructor and a child can help the child learn how to accept constructive mentoring and teaching throughout his or her life,” he states.

“Children learn integrity from competitive sports,” Gilbert notes. As they learn the rules of the game, honesty and healthy competition can be ingrained as well.

“Children who participate in golf and youth sports learn that proper nutrition, exercise programs, good hygiene, good sleep habits, and consistent commitment to an activity can lead to healthy fitness habits for their entire lives, and these lessons can be carried over to be successful at any constructive endeavor in life,” Gilbert advises.

“Winning an athletic competition or celebrating an important life accomplishment with proper perspective is important,” Gilbert says. He adds that kids can strengthen their futures by learning to accept loss or disappointment, developing the resolve to keep working hard, and evaluating different steps for better outcomes in the future. The result is a stellar lesson in commitment and determination.


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