We know that playing games can sometimes be frustrating for kids if they haven't quite picked up the skills yet, but over here at Kidadl we are all about boosting positivity and making sure little ones believe in their own abilities. No matter how old you are, whether you're seven or seventy, we all want to be good at something - it's human nature! And with Kidadl's exclusive 50% off all tickets until 2nd September, including Plonk Golf at Camden Market, Islington and the Horniman Museum, you can sharpen up your putting skills in no time! To aid practice, we've come up with some top tips and tricks to help your little ones improve their mini golf skills while still having fun and learning new things. Win, win!
Practice makes, well, better
Take a little time to practise before hitting the course with your kid. A mini golf day with the family is meant to be fun for everyone, but that said, kids will still want to feel like they’ve got a fighting chance of competing with the adults or each other. This can be easily achieved if they take a little time to practise before they hit the course. That means picking a target and trying to hit it with the golf ball, first from a very short distance and then from gradually further and further away. Once kids can see they’re getting better with every step back they take, they’re going to be feel confident and motivated when they get out onto the actual course.
Make sure they measure up
Let’s start with the basics - the equipment. Kids are far more varied in size than adults are, so one golf club will definitely not fit all children, and that can really put them off their game. As a general rule, the putter a child is using should reach up to their waist, so they can hold the grip comfortably and still have a decent range of movement to swing it.
If you’re not sure whether the course will have the right size putter for your child, you might consider buying them their own to bring with you and ask the course if they can use that instead. Otherwise, you can call the venue to make sure they have the right fit for your child.
Patience is a virtue - and a handy trick
Kids can get a little impatient when they are distracted with lights, colours, sounds, filled with excitement of a crazy golf course. All that extra energy might put them off their game as they focus on the neon dreamworld or the smoke machine instead of playing mini golf. Having a steady and patient approach during the game is guaranteed to improve their chances to win on some level. So make sure you motivate your child to approach their turn calmly, take a deep breath, and think about what they’re trying achieve with each shot. In this way, not only they’ll learn an important life lesson about keeping their cool under a pressure but it will also help them to increase their chances of winning at golf as well!
Take the golf course home
We know homework sometimes can be an uphill struggle, but then again you’ve probably never set them crazy golf homework before. If your child has their own putter at home, and some (window-safe) golf balls, they can create their own miniature courses around the house or garden. Plant pots, shoes and furniture and make obstacles where they can practice manoeuvring a golf ball around. This will keep them busy for hours as they prepare for their next visit to the proper course. Just make sure they don’t leave the golf balls lying around as they might hurt themselves or even you.