Evin Priest does a nice job for Golf Digest Australia (thanks reader AM) talking to Adam Scott, Jason Day, Rod Pampling (Rampling in the online version) and Geoff Ogilvy about the best way to get kids into the game.
It's Junior Golf Week on Morning Drive so there are bound to be good ideas galore, but the four Aussies all have some great ideas. We'll just bite our tongues when Jason Day says the game takes too long. (He wants loops of holes designed into routings to foster shorter round options.)
Adam Scott on par-3 courses:
“I think growing up on a par-3 course was really beneficial. When you’re 5 or 6 years old and the holes are 80 or 100 yards, you can actually play them. It’s very hard to get a young kid, even 10 or 11, to play a 420-yard par 4 – it just seems like an unattainable goal to get it into a tiny hole at the end of that.
“Golf’s biggest challenge in the modern day is it just takes too long; young families with little kids don’t want to spend four, five or six hours on the golf course. They’d rather play a few holes and an hour is all they can possibly give up. Maybe if there were three-hole and four-hole loops on courses where they can go out for an hour and come back, they’d get on board. That’s how you can get introduced and fall in love with the game. And those who like it will transition into the 18-hole side."
Loved this from Ogilvy:
“I was so addicted when I was a kid because I had access. And is there a better place to drop your kids off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon, considering the alternatives? Rather than the local shopping mall, terrorising the place. If they’re at the course, they’re hanging around generally respectable people learning how to behave around adults.”