1. The Teachings of the Game
We all want our kids to develop into responsible adults. The game of golf has at its core a standard of behavior that lends itself to positive development. Personal skills such as honesty, integrity, courtesy and respect are all present in golf, regardless of the level of competition. Golf teaches kids to use good judgment and be responsible for their actions. It also encourages the highest level of sportsmanship. What other sport allows you to call a penalty on yourself with examples of this very thing being demonstrated on the biggest stages of the game?
2. College Scholarships
In addition to the scholarships that colleges and universities offer directly to the accomplished golfers coming out of high school, there are numerous avenues to receive monies that can be used to help with the cost of higher education. Equipment manufacturers, State golf associations, junior golf organizations, and philanthropists who themselves benefited from the game, are all on the list of sources that offer anything from $500 for books to a full-ride scholarship to the student’s school of choice. In many cases, skill level is not a determining factor for receiving an award: involvement in the game, good grades, community service, and employment at a golf facility can all be reasons for becoming a scholarship winner. It’s free money, so take advantage!
3. Family time
When was the last time you played a game of tackle football with your son or field hockey with your daughter?
Golf is a game that families can learn and play together. And because of the handicap system that was created to determine a golfer’s playing ability and potential, moms and dads can actually compete with their children even if they play from different tee boxes or at significantly different skill levels. Get the grandparents involved, and you have a game that everyone can enjoy together as a family for years and years.
4. Business contacts
Everyone knows how demanding the business world can be. It is no secret that some of the biggest deals have been conducted on the golf course. Imagine (or maybe you don’t have to) what it would be like as a non-golfer working in an office full of golfers. When the time comes for networking and building the relationships that lead to promotions and access to the best clients, you don’t want your child to be the one stuck back at the office shuffling papers around a desk. Impress just one client or boss with a skillful golf game or simply a high level of professionalism and conduct as it relates to the game, and your child may have just “punched a ticket” for future success in the industry.
5. Exercise and Fitness
It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight. The physical and emotional issues that can result from childhood obesity are as staggering as the number itself. Twenty years ago, golf and fitness were rarely uttered in the same sentence, but thanks to a new generation of golf professionals, strength, conditioning and nutrition are a significant part of golf instructional programs. Would you rather have your son or daughter immersed in the latest video game or walking nine holes with the high school golf team? As schools are reducing the time spent on physical fitness, it is crucial that kids avoid becoming couch potatoes when they are not in school. Golf is a great low-impact way to develop the cardio activity, core stability, balance and focus that is necessary to function effectively from day-to-day and reduce the risk of health concerns.
Craig Forgash is the Director of Golf and Managing Partner for EAGLE Junior Golf, a children's golf instructional program in the Atlanta and Washington DC areas. A PGA Professional and father of three, Craig is proud to have introduced 1000 students to the wonderful game of golf through EAGLE Junior Golf's afterschool enrichment program.
To find out if EAGLE Junior Golf is offered at your school, visit www.EAGLEjuniorgolf.com or follow EAGLE on Facebook and Twitter. If your child is interested in golf, visit EAGLE at the 7th Annual Children's Nutrition Education & Physical Activity Expo on Saturday, March 24th in Atlanta.