Golf is a popular sport played by millions of people across the globe. Many of those people are children, who can learn a host of life lessons from participating in this challenging yet rewarding sport. Team sports might be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of youth sports, but data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association indicates that participation in individual sports and team sports is pretty close.
According to the Aspen Institute’s State of Play: 2018 report, which was compiled using custom data provided by the SFIA, 56.5 percent of children between the ages of six and 12 participated in a team sport in 2017. That same year, 49.3 percent of children in that same age group participated in an individual sport like golf or tennis.
Children can benefit from participating in both team and individual sports, and the youth development organization The First Tee¨ notes that golf can instill life-enhancing values in youngsters while helping them build character. Golf is a difficult game to master and can be especially tough on beginners. Learning some of these commonly used golf terms is a great way for young athletes to begin familiarizing themselves with the game.
PAR: The Professional Golfers Association defines par as the score an accomplished player is expected to make on a hole. Par is either a three, four or five. Parents and coaches of young golfers should not overlook the words accomplished golfers in the PGA’s definition of par. Young players need not worry about par as they learn the game, as it is often hard for even seasoned golfers to make par.
TEE BOX: This is the area where players start a game of golf. There are 18 holes on a golf course, and each hole has its own tee box.
FAIRWAY: A long stretch of neatly maintained grass that is located between the tee box and the green.
ROUGH: The area of tall grass that surrounds the fairway.
BUNKER: Sometimes referred to as a sand trap, a bunker is a pit-like area containing sand. Golfers typically want to avoid hitting balls into a bunker. Holes may have more than one bunker.
GREEN: The area at the end of a fairway where the hole is located. Grass on the green is typically smooth and cut considerably lower than grass on other areas of the course.
FORE!: This is a warning golfers shout when they strike the ball and notice it is heading toward another person on the course.
DRIVE: A drive is a golfer’s first shot on a hole. A drive is taken from the tee box.
APPROACH: An approach is a shot hit towards the green from the fairway.
PUTT: A shot taken, typically gently, while on the green as golfers try to get the ball in the hole. Golf is a great sport for people of all ages. Parents who think their children might benefit from participating in golf can explore the various opportunities available to kids at www.thefirsttee.org.