AS the Easter holidays are right around the corner, what better time is there to begin planning some fun family activities.

With that in mind, Golfsupport.com has put together advice for parents who want to encourage their children to play golf. 

It is after all a great exercise for kids, helping with spine and core muscles, while also improving hand-eye coordination, and of course, the mental health benefits of sport are widely known.

Five Tips to Get Kids into Golf

• Make it a short game – If you don’t have a golf course near you catered to children, there is no reason you can’t use the adult course. What if it’s an 18-hole course? If your children are ready after 9 holes to finish the game, then that’s great. The key to keeping your children entertained is to keep the game short. There’s nothing worse than dragging your children round the course for a five-hour stint when they were bored after two.

• Provide them with the right equipment – Too long, too stiff and too heavy are some of the common problems with clubs for children. There are a lot of variations of what you can use on the golf course suitable for your child’s needs. You must make sure before starting a game that your child has the right club relative to their height and stamina, so they can maximise their swing to the best of their ability. If you’re unsure, visit your nearest golfing retailer and ask a member of staff in person what they would recommend for your child to use.

• Give them time to perfect their swing – The key to anything in life is practice. Children are notoriously better at gripping a sport from a young age, as their attention to detail and perfection is greater, as they learn the ropes. So, when you introduce your child to golf, make sure to give them enough time to practice, perhaps taking them later in the evening or at a time when it’s not crowded. The last thing you want is to play and hold up groups behind you.

• Keep it fun and criticism low – As serious and prestigious golf may be to an adult, to a child, it’s just another sport to grasp. Your child wants to have fun and enjoy their time with you. Even if your child hits an ‘okay’ shot, shout back at them ‘great shot’, or ‘great swing’, to encourage a continuation of play. The more you play as a parent with your children, the more honest you can be with their play.

• Speak in their language – Children need to comprehend an idea before they can attempt it. As a parent or adult guiding a child around the course, you must learn to be patient as you explain to them in childlike terms how to play a game. Instead of using complicated terminology, switch it up to something they would understand, relative to their age.