When I graduated high school in the mid 90’s I had no idea what to do with my life. All my friends had left for university or college but I decided to wait. After all, what was the point of going to school if I didn’t know what I wanted to do? A good friend of mine got me a job at Bolton Golf & Country Club working on the maintenance crew. At the time I knew nothing about golf except that my dad didn’t think it was much of a sport. I played my first round of golf in the spring of 1996 and I quickly discovered my dad was wrong. It wasn’t long until I was hooked!
Every day after work I would change and head to the first tee. I must have played 120 rounds of golf that season, breaking 80 for the first time on September 21st, 1996. That’s right – I shot a 78 in my first season and I still have the signed scorecard to prove it.
Most of my friends didn’t play golf but that didn’t stop me. Over the next five years, golf became my life. If I wasn’t working at the golf course, I was out on the course playing and practicing. In the winter months, I would spend 8-10 hours a day at the local golf dome working on my game. I was determined to become a golf professional and in August of 2001, I qualified for the Canadian PGA. I had become a golf professional just five years after playing my first round. I had found my passion for golf and I now had a reason to go to college!
I have worked in the golf industry for 21 years now. Golf has provided me with a good living, and I have built a career that I am very proud of. Not everyone needs to be as involved in the game as I am to reap the benefits of the sport. Being around the game has taught me integrity, discipline, persistence, respect, and emotional control. Golf is a difficult game and I have experienced many failures. But, I have learned how to get back up and how to improve my weaknesses. The greatest life lessons I have learned have come on the golf course, so I can tell you first hand that getting your kids involved in golf will be one of the most valuable gifts you will ever give them!
Today’s kids need, more than ever, to get away from the computer games and get outside to socialize with real, not virtual, people. Golf is a fantastic way to accomplish that and to set your children up for success in life.
Here are the 11 reasons why:
- Anyone Can Play: Golfers come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be particularly strong, tall, lean or fast to succeed. Golf champions prove this notion, coming in every shape and size imaginable. It’s never too early to start, and you can enjoy golf your entire life!
- Minimal Risk: Unlike many other popular sports like baseball, soccer, and football – the chances of injury, especially serious injury, are almost non-existent. Golf is a non-contact sport and is very low impact.
- Safe and Positive Environment: The golf course is a safe place to spend the day and often facilitates mentoring relationships with successful adults.
- Lifelong Friendships: You never know who you will meet on a golf course, but it’s one of the easiest places in the world to make friends. Success breeds success, and people who play golf are by in large more successful than the average person. Those are the people you want your kids hanging out with! Best of all, golf creates a unique bond of friendships can be developed all over the world and last a lifetime!
- Prepare For Business: It’s hard to think about it now, but kids grow up fast and before you know it they will have their own lives. The people they meet as children can often play a huge part in their future success. Golf is a sport that helps prepare kids and teens for careers in the business world and the saying goes most business deals are completed on the golf course!
- Time Spent Outdoors: In today’s world of video games, smartphones, and child obesity, it can be hard to drag your son or daughter off the couch. Golf is the perfect excuse to spend an entire day enjoying nature and it presents the opportunity to develop healthy lifelong exercise habits – all while having fun.
- Important Life Lessons: As I mentioned before, golf is a sport that will teach your child important traits such as integrity, discipline, persistence, respect, and emotional control. As they learn to conduct themselves on the golf course, the lessons will translate into their everyday life.
- Post-Secondary Scholarships: There are many scholarship opportunities for golfers when it comes to post-secondary education both in Canada and the USA – particularly with women. The reality is there are hundreds of women’s golf scholarships go unused each year. The earlier your child starts, the greater his or her chance is of gaining access to scholarship money.
- Spend Time With Family: Golf is a game that can be enjoyed by the entire family from young to old. When children are young, they enjoy doing just about anything with you but it doesn’t long last so start now. Golf is an opportunity for quality bonding time and it’s one that can last a lifetime.
- It’s FUN: This should probably be at the top of the list, but one of the best reasons to get your son or daughter involved with golf is they’ll have an absolute blast. They’ll have the chance to learn new skills both physical and mental, make new friends, and discover new opportunities.
There are a million things you can buy your kids with the hope that it helps them learn and grow, but only a few make a real impact.
Encouraging them to play golf is one!
- Sign your kids up for some lessons
- Purchase a junior membership for you and your child.
- Give yourself a high five for doing something that will make a real difference in your child’s life!
Golf has had an amazing impact on my life and I truly believe it can have the same impact on you and your children. It is the game of a lifetime and I hope to see you out with your children this summer.
Rob Mininni - PGA of Canada