Start Smart Golf is a six week parent-child development program for children ages 4.5-7 who have never been involved with golf, that teaches and trains the parents to teach their kids how to play golf using fun, developmentally appropriate equipment that can be used almost anywhere.
A 1994 study showed that 85% of 1,100 kids who were introduced to golf had a desire to continue to play the sport. The same study showed that less than 15% of those youngsters had an opportunity to participate in organized play. Smart Golf is a program within HOOK A KID ON GOLF, which provides all of the tools necessary for a community to introduce kids to golf, teach basic fundamentals, and provide a fun and safe environment with their parents to teach the basics about golf and sport.
One of the requirements for the program is for the parents to attend a START SMART Golf class conducted in the first week. START SMART Golf was developed using the same standards as the START SMART Sports Development Program, a program designed and developed by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. The philosophy of all START SMART programs is based on teaching the parents how to teach their children using fun, safe, developmentally appropriate products. It is the organizations belief, that the parent will gain confidence in their teaching abilities as the child’s skill progresses. Studies have shown that parents who participate with their children in START SMART programs are more likely to participate in their future sports activities thus creating a child/parent bond.
Start Smart Golf utilizes the unique line of SNAG Golf products. These products have been proven to be fun, safe and developmentally appropriate in teaching young children the fundamentals of golf. This patented system moves parent/child groups through four stations during a one hour session, once a week for 6 weeks. SNAG uses positive reinforcement and Fun activities while teaching the participants, both child and parent, the motor skills necessary to play golf.
SNAG® contains all the elements of golf but in a modified form. The game has its own simplified rules and terminology that adds fun to the learning and playing experience. Falling somewhere between miniature golf and regulation golf, SNAG® allows for full shots, pitching, chipping, and putting. The SNAG Ball™ has a limited distance, with the average player launching it a maximum of 50 yards.
SNAG® only has two clubs: the Launcher™ is used to launch, pitch, and chip the ball; like a putter, the Roller™ is used to roll the ball toward the target. All shots other than rolling (putting) are played off of a mat and tee called the Launch Pad™. This ensures that the player will have an optimal lie every time.
The target, called a Flagsticky™, also differs from anything else in golf, as it is not a hole with a cup inside but rather an above-ground weighted cylinder covered with a hook material. The SNAG Ball is slightly smaller than a tennis ball and is covered with a loop material. Unlike golf, where you finish by putting your ball into the cup, in SNAG®, you finish by sticking your ball to the Flagsticky™. Because of the mobile Launch Pad™ and Flagsticky™, SNAG® is portable and playable just about anywhere.
SNAG® is also a training program for beginners' fun. It's easy to learn, and it's easy to teach. It's a comprehensive system that has been developed through years of research and field experience. The key is in simplifying the instruction so that it can be an effective transition into the game of golf.
Scott Rynning who will act as the Director of Instruction for the program is a level III Certified Teaching Professional with the United States Golf and World Golf Teachers Federation. The program will be offered through the Grafton Recreation Department and is available to all the children in town.
"SNAG® golf equipment combined with the SNAG® Coaching System, both the golf professional's Edition and the Scholastic Edition, are the most comprehensive and refreshing curriculum materials I have reviewed in over 20 years of teaching the game of golf."
Dr. Betsy Clark Director of Education and Research, LPGA of America
"SNAG® has developed the perfect formula for introducing the game of golf to boys and girls: make it fun, simple and progressive adopting this approach to learning golf skills along with SNAG's materials on proper conduct make this a must for the way youth should start the game."
Dr. Gary Wiren Author of the PGA Instruction Manual