Posted on 10th April, 2018 Source: Jody Jackson, LPGA, Arbutus Ridge GC
There are not many sports that grandparents, parents, aunts & uncles, sisters & brothers can all play together over a lifetime. Golf is that game.
Personally, I have been playing for 43 years and have never looked back, as this game has taught me so much about myself and helped me become a better person. It was my dad that introduced me to the game and my mom that I ended up playing with, on a regular basis. So today, I aim to provide information to support families in leading their young ones to this great game.
Here is your ACTION LIST:
- Ask your school Parent Advisory Committee to sign-up for the BC Golf ~ Playground to Fairway (P2F) or the Golf Canada ~ Golf in Schools. This is an introduction to golf that is subsidized by the PSO and NSO and teaches elementary students about the game using modified equipment (both indoors and outside). Did you know that GBC Academy staff at Arbutus Ridge are P2F Certified Coaches? They are looking to support the grassroots of golf by taking the Playground to Fairway Program to local elementary schools and connecting families to the many opportunities for kids to grow through this great game at their neighbourhood golf course.
- Check your local community recreation facility for Junior Golf Programs, many of our local golf clubs advertise here and the prices are usually very affordable. Arbutus Ridge Golf Club has listed several programs in the Kerry Park Recreational Guide, under the CVRD website.
- Seek out your local golf club; pick one that is close to home, so it makes it easy for you to get there on a regular basis. You will begin to develop a relationship with golf shop staff, and your child may soon be looking for a consistent drop-off afterschool. Many of the junior programs run afterschool, during the summer holidays and follow a developmental-stage delivery model over a child’s lifetime. At Arbutus Ridge Golf Club we have numerous junior programs: Little Bogeys (ages 4-6), Co-ed Junior Clinics and Summer Golf & Tennis Camps (ages 6-14), NEW THIS YEAR: Girls Golf Club (ages 6-17), a Junior Performance Lab (ages14+) for the competitive child and if you want something for that special birthday, ARGC also provides SNAG Golf Birthday Parties (ages 4-14).
- Chat with the local golf club Junior Coordinator to see if there are any playing opportunities with other juniors, like Junior Nights, Local Junior Leagues or Zone Junior Tours. Juniors in southern Cowichan Valley can play at the Arbutus Ridge Junior Night, every Wednesday (starting in May) at 3:30 pm. Students at Frances Kelsey Secondary School can sign up for their Afterschool Golf Club, and Zone 5 (Southern Vancouver Island) has the Vikes Tour (juniorgolfvictoria.com) offering several play dates throughout the year at a variety of golf courses.
- There are special events and ongoing programs for FAMILIES at some of the local golf courses, where parents/guardians and children can PLAY TOGETHER at a discounted rate. To find out more, check-in with the Head Professional at your local golf club. NEW THIS YEAR at Arbutus Ridge GC, we have Family Days on the weekends after 4:30 pm (Friday through Sunday), where each family player pays $10 and receives a Food & Beverage Voucher!
Here are some helpful WEBSITES for Junior Golf:
- GOLF CANADA: juniors.golfcanada.ca
- BC GOLF: britishcolumbiagolf.org/participation/junior-golf, Zones across BC
- PGA of CANADA: pgaofcanada.com, PGA Jr. League
- PGA of BC: pgabc.org/junior_golf, Canucks Junior Golf Week
- LPGA * USGA: girlsgolf.org, Girls Golf
- THE FIRST TEE: thefirsttee.org
- TITLEIST PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE: mytpi.com/articles/juniors
Check out these helpful APPS:
- Long-Term Player Development Guide (Canada’s Developmental Pathway)
- Learn to Play (ages 4-15)
- Learn to Compete (ages 14-18)
Whether your child eventually plays golf as a recreational or competitive pursuit, it is really up to them. The best goal is to keep them engaged at their developmental level, on the path towards having FUN for a lifetime. Over my eight years as a High-Performance Coach with BC Golf, I have seen some children suffer at the hands of their overzealous parents, only to succumb to burnout and inevitable disinterest. Please keep the FUN for our youngsters, enjoy some family time together with a focus on PLAY and know that there are professionals at your local golf club that are there to support the needs of a developing junior player.
Jody Jacksons is a LPGA Teaching and Club Professional currently working as a GBC Academy Instructor and Performance Coach at Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island. Jody is an acclaimed coach in BC, having lead players and teams to success provincially, nationally and internationally. Her background includes a Bachelor of Physical Education specializing in Coaching and a Bachelor of Education specializing in Psychology. She can be reached via www.jodyjacksongolf.com or [email protected].
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