Make no mistake about it, getting your kids involved in golf will be one of the greatest and most valuable gifts you will ever give them!
The Junior Academy at Dunes Golf Centre has established itself as one of the leading venues in the UK for youngsters to learn this great game!
We grew up in the 80’s and sure we had video games like Space Invaders and Pac-man but it was an afterthought, not a lifestyle.
Today’s kids need more than ever to get away from the computer games and get out and socialise with real people not virtual people. Golf is by far the very best way to accomplish that and set your kids up for success in life.
One of the aims of our junior golf programmes is to create an interest in playing golf. Said another way, one of the goals here is to make learning and playing golf much easier than some may believe it can be.
At Dunes Golf Centre we believe that golf can be uncomplicated, interesting, and fun to learn and play, which leads to developing other physical and mental skills.
The programmes are designed to help students learn “what to do,” (a positive) and avoids any “How to” directions that try to fix poor outcomes. Studies into the nature of learning show that fixing is a negative approach to progress, and has never supported developmental learning. By focusing on “what to do,” long-term learning is encoded through the students’ own reasoning and deduction skills.
Credit due to fellow PGA Professional – Michael Hebron for sharing his insightfulness into learning from which much of the following is derived.
So, why should children learn to play golf?
Some people would say; to develop a great swing, to win tournaments, to be a golf professional winning majors or Olympic Golds like Justin Rose, or simply to learn life skills. These views should be rethought and quickly replaced with:
Children should learn to play golf simply because it’s a great game that’s fun to play with friends and family.
Of course playing a game that one loves could result in having that game open other doors. I have never seen playing a game for the purpose of gaining more from it than the enjoyment the game itself provides, open other doors.
Great golf swings, winning tournaments, professional golf and life skills may be possible outcomes, but they should not be someone’s (parent or child’s) reason for playing golf or any game.
There are many skills that acts of learning and playing golf develop that unconsciously “flow through” and mix with future acts of learning in other environments, including classrooms.
While this may be a counterintuitive insight, it’s a reality. Studies from cognitive science show that past experiences in golf can unconsciously “flow through” and mix with new learning experiences, making them deeper and more meaningful.
Acts of true play improve one’s capacity for learning anything. Developmental learning (or what is referred to as real learning) is grounded in the kind of active play that enhances one’s ability to evaluate and solve problems. When we are learning, long-term progress requires more than the skill of remembering information.
Studies from modern science not only support this view; they suggest that learning golf, more than any other sport, can accomplish this goal. Acts of “play” and “flow-through learning” support progress in schools, and beyond in any real world environment.
Learning & Playing Golf
- Promotes reflection
- Helps develop locomotive skills
- Promotes problem-solving behaviour (critical thinking)
- Helps eye-hand coordination
- Promotes patience
- Develops self-assessment skills
- Promotes logical thinking
- Develops self-discovery behaviour
- Promotes self-development
- Develops competitive spirit
- Promotes sportsmanship
- Develops cardiovascular fitness
- Enhances emotional-social growth
- Develops cognitive skills (critical thinking)
- Promotes group interaction
- Promotes reasoning and deduction behaviour (critical thinking)
- Promotes physical development
- Develops choice making behaviour (critical thinking)
- Promotes pattern and sequence recognition (critical thinking)
- Helps individuals to understand they are unique
- Enhances auditory and visual memory
- Helps develop strategy making behaviour (critical thinking)
- Helps develop both fine and gross movements
- Helps develop alertness and visual tracking behaviour
- Helps develop foresight and operative behaviour (critical thinking)
- Promotes combining a variety of thinking and motor skills (critical thinking)
And most importantly, helps to develop self-reliance and self confidence
As was said, when learning golf, some of the same skills needed to be successful in school and beyond classrooms are being advanced. Golf and “flow- through” learning improve self-skills. Of all the self-skills, self-confidence is the most important when it comes to making progress in school and sports. Our program is geared for supporting and enhancing your children’s self-confidence and self-reliance.
The junior golf program at Dunes Golf Centre is designed to help each individual play golf and learn in their own unique way (We do not actually have a learn to play program, we use a play to learn approach. Play births developmental learning).
One of the techniques we use to keep a student’s interest engaged is to give them choices. Studies show that giving students a choice is perhaps the most meaningful approach for learning and making progress. For example: we may ask, “Which way of swinging the club would you choose? Showing swings, A, B, and C. Our program gives students choices, it does not give commands, criticisms, or judgments of outcomes. Students learn to use their own power of self-assessment.
Efficient approaches to developmental learning are designed to make students feel smart. These approaches take place in smart classrooms and smart learning environments. These environments take into account that Students Minds Are Really Talented.
“My golf clubs and golf ball were my playmates growing up. From tee to green everyone has a different swing; everyone is an individual, with a different way of playing. I learned the game from the green back to the tee.” Tiger Woods
10 Reasons for getting your kids playing golf...
- Anyone Can Play: Golfers come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be particularly strong, tall, lean or fast to succeed. Golf champions come in every shape and size imaginable. It’s never too early to start, and unlike most other sports you can enjoy golf your entire life!
- Minimal Risk: Unlike many other popular sports like football and rugby the chances of injury, especially serious injury, are almost non- existent; golf is a non-contact sport.
- Safe and positive environment: The golf course is a safe place to spend the day and often facilitates mentoring relationships with successful adults.
- Lifelong friendships: You never know who you will meet on a golf course, but it’s one of the easiest place in the world to make friends. Success breeds success and people who play golf are by in large more successful than the average bear. Those are the people you want your kids hanging out with! Best of all, golf creates a unique bond so those friendships can be developed all over the world and last a lifetime!
- Prepare for business: It’s hard to think about it now but kids grow up and the people they meet as children can play a huge part in their success later in life. Golf is a sport that helps prepare kids and teens for careers in the business world. Even at 12 I was learning about real life business every day from all the adults I played with.
- Time Spent Outdoors: In today’s world of video games, smart phones and child obesity, it can be hard to drag your son or daughter off the couch. Golf is the perfect excuse to spend an entire day enjoying nature and presents the opportunity to develop healthy lifelong exercise habits!
- Important Life Lessons: Golf is a sport that will teach your child life changing traits like integrity, discipline, persistence and respect. As they learn to conduct themselves on the golf course, these lessons will translate directly into everyday life.
- College Scholarships: Avid golfers have a lot of opportunities when it comes to college funding. The earlier your child starts, the greater his or her chance is of gaining access to scholarship money.
- Spend time with family: Golf is a game that can be enjoyed by the entire family from young to old. When children are young, they enjoy doing just about anything with you (but it doesn’t long last so start now). Golf is an opportunity for quality bonding time and it’s one that can last a lifetime.
It’s FUN: This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the best reasons to get your son or daughter involved with golf is that they’ll have an absolute blast. They’ll have the chance to learn new skills both physical and mental, make new friends and discover new opportunities.
There are a million things you can buy your kids or gift your kids in the hope that it helps them learn and grow, only a few make a real impact – encouraging them to play golf is one!
Get your kids some lessons with a local pro.
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Give yourself a high five for doing something that will make a real difference in your child’s life -
We know it certainly did in ours!
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