My wife, Debbie (a 12 handicapper), and I have four golf-crazy children—the two boys, plus Stacey, 13, and Stephanie, 6. (That's Sean in my lap, with Debbie and Stephanie to my right.) Here are five ways to make the game enjoyable for your kids.
1. Provide nongolf activities on the course. We bring snacks, dolls, sketchbooks and Magic Markers to have something for them to play with when they get bored. This makes every golf outing fun, even if there's very little golf involved.
2. Never stop kids from running into sand traps. It's an ideal opportunity to teach them how to rake bunkers.
3. Be a parent, not an instructor. You're there to make sure your children have fun. Hire a kid-friendly teacher to instill the fundamentals.
4. Play games. We offer ice cream for made putts and candy bars for chipping over a bunker. If we arrive at a water hazard, we pull out old balls and offer bubblegum to the kid who makes the biggest splash.
5. Bring the video camera. Kids always love seeing themselves on tape, and the video is also a great instructional tool.