Saturday, February 28, 2009

Start Smart Golf Coming to Grafton MA

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.

What Is SNAG®?

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.


"This is how golf should be taught to beginners"
Payne Stewart U.S. Open Champion

"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

"SNAG® integrates equipment and programming to make learning golf fun and exciting. Everyone should come into the game this way!"
Mike Hebron
World Class Golf Instructor

"SNAG® is better than sliced bread! It's one of the most innovative products developed for golf in a long time."
Carol Mann
LPGA Hall of Famer and distinguished Teacher

"SNAG® is the greatest invention in golf in the last 50 years"
Masato Mizuno
Chairman, Mizuno Corporation

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Following the blueprintgolf way

My neighbor followed my advice in my last blog about how to introduce his child to golf, look for yourself how well it worked!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Introducing Golf to Your Child

What impact can it have?

One of the great things about parenting and fatherhood/motherhood is introducing new activities to your child or children. Young children who bond with their father/mother during their younger years are much more likely to grow up to be happy, confident, well-adjusted individuals. Interacting with your children builds a bond that will last forever. It lets the child know he or she is loved and appreciated. It opens the door for sharing problems and concerns when the need arises. It helps the parent get to know and understand the uniqueness of each child. It is also happens to be a great stress reducer for overworked parents. And in today’s environment that is extremely important for creating the ever illusive balance in life that many parents strive to achieve.

Family activities are great for the whole family. They help develop strong family bonds which can last a lifetime. It can be said that a family who plays together stays together. They also are more cooperative, supportive and have open communication. These qualities pay off in big dividends by increasing self-esteem, social skills and a sense of connectedness that helps kids and teens use good judgment when confronted with difficulties and temptations later on in life.

There are many statistics to back up the need for a strong father/mother-child relationship, here a blueprintgolf we are focused on creating that bond through golf and recommending ways to introduce this wonderful game to our most precious gifts, our children

When is it the right time to introduce golf to your child? Believe it or not, it can begin as early as a year old in their toddler stage. Videos such as Sportybaby Golf or Baby Golf build a solid blueprintgolf foundation for beginning the golf learning process. Another very effective and important way is to read golf books to your child. Books such as The ABC’s of Golf, Count on Golf and Confident Golf by Susan Greene are great ways to introduce golf and you can begin to build a strong reading foundation that can last a life time. As your child gets older you can introduce them to plastic clubs and plastic balls which you can buy at any one of the large retail chains. However, I do recommend that the first set be very light plastic, this proves to be very important when the club turns into a light saber and your son starts to attack the clone trooper (his sister).

Inevitably the situation will arise where your child may have no interest in your passion, in this case golf. So what do you do now? Try another sport - no just kidding! The important thing is not to force it upon them, slowly introduce it again and again, inadvertently pick up the plastic clubs, be playful and hit balls around the house and you can even make up games. I have a vivid picture in my mind of Phil Bundy turning his bedroom into a practice range for his son during the morning and it makes me laugh to visualize balls flying around the room while he and his wife get ready for the day. You do not have to take it to that of an extreme if you do not want. (See Phil’s story below)

The critical aspect to this is to make sure you are having fun during your interaction. Children are easily imprinted, they don't necessarily make an association with the event (golf in this case) being fun at first, but more importantly with how much fun they are having with the father/mother during this time, then comes the association with the activity and the fun it brings afterward. Bingo, you have successfully introduced golf to your child. Remember, as soon as your child stops having fun with the activity you run the risk of losing them no matter what the activity is.

As your child gets older you can introduce them to more advanced equipment and teaching systems such as SNAG Golf. This is in my estimation is one of the best ways to build a solid blueprintgolf foundation. Outstanding equipment to learn and build a solid foundation for future golf! Then as they progress along you can move to more advanced equipment with real balls. Take them along with you to the practice green, driving range, to your course, and if your course allows it, have them go in the cart with, they LOVE that! Later on you can get them enrolled into junior clinics that are located all over the country. For the truly dedicated parent, or should I say for the truly dedicated golf fanatic…warning! You must have a spouse that understands you and your passion. You can build your own home practice facility, complete with three bunkers, artificial putting green, two tiered driving tees, chipping areas and net. Below is RynoWorld (name provided by my friends) guaranteed to provide hours of fun for both you and your children.

The most important thing about this process is to keep it fun and always make it enjoyable. Stay in the moment and leave all your frustrations behind that the day brings, before you know it they will have grown up and moved out. So use golf as a vehicle to teach life skills, building a solid foundation the blueprintgolf way!

Good Luck!