A good way to begin is with video clippings of some great golfers as kids. These cute clips might create some interest in the game. There are a number of basics involved while learning golf, such as proper grip, stance, aim, ball position, and swing. All these are essential to a golfer; however, don't attempt to try to teach a kid all these in a big hurry. The initial aim should be only to generate interest in the game. It is essential to have fun playing the game, even if they do not have a proper grip or stance. If they can hit the ball to a certain distance, it is a good start! Another essential to put in place is a safe playing environment. Golf clubs with metallic heads and the small hard ball can make a recipe for disaster, if not dealt with cautiously.
Selecting a Golf Set: There are a variety of golf sets available for kids in sports stores. Take the advice of a pro while selecting a set. Old clubs could be modified (shaft shortened) to suit the height of the kid too.
Maintain Fun in the Game: Do not get bogged down with basic essentials and rules at the start. At the outset, let the kid explore the game on his own. The thumb rule at the beginning is, you follow them on the course, let them do what they want, and not what you want.
Play More, Teach Less: The attention span of a kid is short. So, the lesson part should not be more than 20 to 30 minutes in a session. The rest of the practice session should concentrate on having fun, such as catching the ball or rolling it with the hand towards the hole. Let them explore the game by hitting around with an imperfect grip or stance. Once they have managed to hit the ball to some distance, then introduce the grip and stance to them. Leave all the instructions regarding the swing for later.
Start with a Driver: To ensure that the kid does not get frustrated at not being able to hit the ball with a normal club (iron), it would be better to start with the 'driver', which has a bigger head to hit the ball. At the beginning, you can even use a tennis ball instead of a golf ball; that is, you tee-off using a tennis ball.
More Emphasis on Putting: Since putting is a lot easier as well as interesting, spend more time at putting in the beginning. You can also mark a 3-foot diameter circle around the hole on the practice green using tees, and let the youngster try and put the ball into the circle from 15 to 20 feet. Give him one point for a ball that enters the circle, and two points if it drops in the hole.
Visual Instructions are Preferable: Avoid too many verbal instructions; a demonstration on how things are done is preferable. A child will find it difficult to comprehend the 'V' form between the shoulders and the hands. So, if you show it to him he would understand better. Remember, everything should be expressed/demonstrated at a child's level.
Introduce the Basics Slowly: Once the kid has shown adequate interest in the game, then it's time to start with the fundamentals one at a time. Try to be creative; for example, place an inclined hula hoop opposite the kid, so that he understands the circular motion of a proper swing.
The bottom line is to sustain their interest in the game, while slowly honing their skills. The kids you teach golf to may not develop into Tiger Woods, but they can at least grow up to love the game. More importantly, as a parent, it could turn out to be an excellent time for bonding, which may also spill into other areas of your life.