Whether you have a sporty kid who is a competitive athlete or a child that just enjoys playing and having fun with friends, choosing a sport that will be played over the course of a child’s school career is an investment of time and money.
There are few kids that continue playing sports in college and even fewer who become professional athletes. For both parents and the child, the last game is an emotional end to years spent on a field or court practicing and playing. When the last season ends, unfortunately most teammate friendships also end, and the child often never has an opportunity to play that sport again.
When encouraging your child to pursue a sport, consider the end game. What is the final take-away from all the years playing a sport and ultimately the return on the investment of both time and money?
What sport can both girls and boys play that is the best of both worlds, a team sport but a game that is played solo? A life-long sport that doesn’t end when school ends and encourages friendships beyond the last season?
Let’s talk golf and the overarching benefits of a child playing a solo sport and the life-long advantages that carry on beyond the child’s school career.
- SOCIAL: For a solo sport, golf is a very social sport played by people of all ages. Golf is a fun family outing where all members can participate from the youngest to grandparents.
- QUALITY TIME: Spending time together playing golf is a great way to connect and stay connected with your child. Being outside in the fresh air gets kids off their screens, away from the daily stresses and invites everyone’s best self to the game, which encourages quality time and meaningful conversations.
- (SUPERVISED) FREEDOM: Kids are on the golf course and off the streets. The old cliché that it takes a village to raise a child is an understatement. Generally, teenagers are welcome to play alone at golf courses without adult supervision at age 13. Teens crave independence and unsupervised time with their friends. But little do they realize that the eyes of their golf village are on them. They may feel free to roam, but rest assured their golf village is watching and a parent is but a phone call away.
- SCHOLARSHIPS: Golf scholarships are available and are often less competitive than other sports scholarships, especially for girls. Thinking ahead and positioning your player to qualify for a golf scholarship will help recuperate the investment of time and money spent on mastering the game.
- LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIPS: Unlike team sports, where friendships often end when the last season is played, golfers can develop life-long friendships and continue to play together for many years to come.
- LIFE LESSONS: Life-lessons and etiquette that golf teaches through play are carried forward through a player’s college years and into their future career.
- CAREER ADVANTAGE: Speaking of careers, golf is undeniably the most popular sport among business professionals. If a young professional cannot play golf, they are at a disadvantage to colleagues who do. It is very true that a lot of business is done on the golf course. What better investment than teaching a skill that becomes a competitive advantage to a young professional?
Golf is not just a “rich kid’s” sport. Through golf focused organizations, playing the game is now as affordable as any team sport and accessible to all to play. Here is how…
- EPEC upgradeable junior golf clubs grow as the child grows. Instead of replacing clubs each season, through EPEC’s upgrade program the clubs are equipped with new grips, longer shafts and heavier weighted club heads. The clubs are returned to the player in like-new condition, saving hundreds of dollars compared to replacing clubs each season.
- As the player advances, EPEC upgradeable junior golf clubs can be handed down to a sibling to have the shafts shortened and the club heads weight reduced for optimal fit. EPEC will follow the sibling’s golf experience season after season keeping them in properly fit clubs at a fraction of the cost of buying new clubs. EPEC clubs last season after season, sibling after sibling.
- Not sure the game of golf will stick with your child? EPEC Try 2 Buy is a club rental program with a buy out option at the end of the season. The rental price is $75 for 3 club set and $125 for 5 club set. Clubs can be returned with no questions asked at the end of the season or kept paying only the difference in retail cost.
Where to learn?
- There are numerous youth golf organizations that host summer camps, workshops and tournaments. The EPEC Try 2 Buy program is perfect for a first-time golf experience at a summer camp. Lessons can continue through PGA teaching professionals both on course and inside using golf simulators during inclement weather. Visit https://www.epecgolf.com/mac-kids/ to explore golf organizations in your area.
- If you have a Scout that is interested in earning a Golf Merit Badge, again the EPEC Try 2 Buy program is a great way to introduce your child to the game of golf and earn the Golf Merit Badge with minimal investment in properly fit golf clubs.
Where to play?
- Check out Youth on Course. Cost to join is $20, then members only pay $5 for a round of golf at participating golf courses. Financial assistance is also available for hardship situations.
- Practice golf skills playing fun backyard games. Check out these on Amazon: Bucket Golf and Bullseye Golf and for rainy days Chip N’ Stick
Raising kids to become independent and make good choices does take a village. Exposing your child to golf at a young age has so many advantages from playing a life-long sport to your child joining a community of golfers that extends beyond their high school years. Starting your child in golf at a young age will instill valuable life lessons and prepare them as a young professional with a competitive edge when business is conducted outside of the boardroom and on the golf course.
The end game of golf? That is just it, there is no end game... it's only the beginning!