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Golf Instructions for Kids

Chipping and Putting Game "Around the Corner"

By: Rick Fletcher, Head Clubmaker and Junior Instructor at All Kids Golf Clubs


Chipping and putting indoors is a great way to practice your own short game while watching and coaching your son or daughter the proper techniques. But before you begin, you'll want to have on hand:
  • Your favorite chipping club and putter.
  • Chipping and putting clubs for your child. Which club you teach your child to chip with is optional, and can be the same as your favorite. The easiest clubs to learn with are those with little or no bounce (sand wedges have the most bounce), to minimize the risk of bouncing the club off the turf (or carpet) and into the equator of the ball (a "skulled" shot as it is sometimes referred to). Arnold Palmer favored the 8 iron, anything between a 7 iron and a pitching wedge will work just fine.
  • Regular or practice golf balls (3 for each of you). CAUTION: turning a young one loose in the house with a golf club and real golf balls can result in damage to things you never thought would be in the line of fire. So, if your child is very young, practice balls are the best choice.
  • Wide-mouth glass, coffee can or something similar (as close to the actual 4" diameter of a golf hole as possible).

Goals of "Around the Corner"

  • Practicing long "bump and run" type shots and short chips typically faced during a round
  • Teaching kids how to hit from behind the tee markers
  • Teaching kids how to wait behind the tee markers until other players have hit
  • Teaching kids how to chip properly
  • Teaching kids how to putt properly
  • Teaching kids how to wait their turn
  • Teaching kids how the player farthest from the hole hits first
  • Teaching kids how to judge distance with chips and putts
  • Teaching kids how to win or lose gracefully

Playing "Around the Corner"

  • Played down a hallway and into another room. The object is to get the ball into the cup at the end in the least number of strokes.
  • Lay the course out by placing a wide-mouth glass in as many rooms as you like along a hallway. Each cup is a hole and par can be determined by the location of the cup in the room.
  • Mark the starting "tee box" with any two objects you like, so that all players begin from the same place. This is a great time to teach young ones how to draw an imaginary line between the two tee markers and always hit from behind that line, and to stay behind the line until other players have hit. Also, add another glass somewhere behind the tee box, to make the finishing hole.
  • The game is played with practice balls (or real balls if you are confident your child won't hit the ball too hard and break something). Each player chips three shots down the hall to the entrance of the first room, chipping each ball into that room and putting each ball into the glass. Two balls each can be used, the idea is to hit a better shot on the second try and take the lowest score. Also, it's a great idea to mark each ball like you would on the course. Wouldn't it be great if the game of golf was played with two balls, so you get an automatic "do-over" on each shot?
  • Another "tee box" is set up in each room, and the game continues by chipping out of that room, back into the hallway, down and into to the next room, finishing by putting into another glass.
  • A final "tee box" is set up near the hole farthest away from the tee box, and each player chips back to the original tee box, which is the last hole. On this last hole the putter can be used for the entire length of the hole, if the player thinks they can get it in the hole with fewer strokes that way. This is a great time to teach creativity, and how it's OK to use the club you are most comfortable with.
  • A scorecard can be devised with names, the "par" for each hole, and the actual score, which is the lower of the two balls. Note: be generous when calculating par, so it can be achieved and high fives can be slapped! Also, be prepared to discuss what constitutes a "holed" put (if the ball goes in the glass and bounces back out, does it count?).
  • The "front nine" is going down the hallway and the "back nine" is coming back. You can be creative and make lots of twists and turns, the object is not only to get your own chipping practice in, but to help your child learn the correct technique. Watch how they handle the chipping club. If they are tending to scoop the ball, a simple demonstration how to chip better by keeping their hands ahead of the clubhead will work wonders!
  • Play the course a couple of times so your child gets the opportunity to improve. Maybe a good goal would be to get through the course without hitting the walls! I'm talking about hitting the walls with the ball, not a club or a fist, but that's a whole other discussion.
  • Winner can be determined after one, two, three rounds, whatever works. Make sure to give the child a chance to win and a chance to lose. Watch how they handle both situations. If they are a poor loser or has a short temper, it's a lot better to address it in the house rather than out on the golf course around other people (I know this from experience). Maybe set up a reward for the winner ahead of time, such as loser does the dishes, loser takes out the trash, etc. You can even copy what the pros do at the end of a round by shaking hands and saying, "Nice game!"

Source: allkidsgolfclubs.com

Copyright 2006 AllKidsGolfClubs

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Golf for Kids

Practice makes perfect. And years of practice can make your child the best athlete in any sport of his or her choice. Start 'em young and watch your child go pro in golf.

But where to start? Who to call? Which training program or golf school is the right one for your child? Should you buy those junior clubs or get a used set of adult ones cut down to size? These are essential questions any parent has to consider when introducing the kids to golf.

Search through these golf articles for tips and advice in golf for kids. Explore Westchester County golf courses for a family-oriented and child-friendly golf and country club offering summer training for children on the greens.

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