I didn’t grow up playing the game. My grandfather never played, we didn’t belong to a country club and my father didn’t own a set of clubs until my sisters and I bought him a set for Father’s Day fifteen years ago.
As a result, I didn’t start playing the game that I now love until after high school.
Fast forward, I’m a father of two and my son is starting to get old enough to be signed up for more things. Naturally, my first thought is its time to start golf!
I love it and maybe just maybe he will love it too. The problem is that I am not a teaching professional, we don’t live on a golf course and how do I make it fun for a five year old?
For me, it’s important to make sure this experience is fun. We will worry about protecting skills later but for now let’s just get our feet wet with different sports and see what sticks. Lucky for me I don’t have to worry about any of that because there is a program available through many park districts and golf courses called SNAG®.
What is SNAG®? It’s a name that summarizes exactly what I am looking for to get my child interested in the game. It stands for Starting New At Golf.
SNAG® is the best first touch program to effectively teach the game of golf to people of all ages and ability levels. SNAG® offers the versatility to learn and play in almost any environment you choose.
Over the past 10 years, SNAG® has built a premier learning system recognized by industry leaders around the world as the superior method to teach golf fundamentals in a fun and easy way. SNAG® provides cutting edge learning techniques never before seen in the world of golf.
What I love about this program is that it’s not complicated. The focus is on learning the fundamentals with the focus on the fun part.
The products used with SNAG® are like something you would see in the toy aisle at your local Wal-Mart. Names like “the Launcher, the SNAGazoo, Roller and Launch Pad” make everything sound like a fun new game and not the “boring” thing daddy is always watching on Sundays.
With light weight plastic clubs, colorful tennis balls instead of golf balls and large targets it makes for a more enjoyable experience for kids. The grips have colors on them that the coach uses to help the kids with proper hand placement. The tennis balls are different colors and it gives the kids a larger object to focus on while swinging the oversized clubs (more room for error). The program can be run outside at a golf course or inside at a local school gym (due to weather in the Midwest we had classes at both).
The coach will start off with basic information. “This is called the grip, this is the shaft and this is the head”. After some basic safety and alignment instructions the kids start to put the ball on a tee with an arrow pointing in the direction they are supposed to hit the ball.
Because everything is simplified it’s easy for kids (and beginners) to understand what to do. Each student gets about five tennis balls (this will vary depending on the size of the class and available equipment). This is the point where you see the golf bug bite the kids and it’s a sight to see. One ball goes left, one rolls on the ground to the right, one pops up in the air and goes about 10 yards.
With so many targets to hit, the joy of the game really comes out when you see every child’s face light up the same way most amateurs do when they get out of a deep bunker. This continues until everyone has hit a ball and after that the kids are sent out like marathon runners to pick up all the balls and bring them back to the coach as fast as they can.
Each class covers a different skill set. From hitting off a tee, Putting and Chipping the nonstop fun of the class is so engaging for the kids it’s no wonder this program is so successful. SNAG® is a global company with classes available worldwide.
I couldn’t be happier with our first hands on experience with SNAG®. If you would like to get your own child introduced into the game of golf or you’re interested in becoming an official SNAG® coach you can find all the information needed via their website at www.SNAGgolf.com or by contacting your local golf course/ park district and asking if they offer the program.
Cover Image via Facebook
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