Some of us still remember the imagery on our television sets over thirty years ago – a two-year-old named Tiger Woods was on the Mike Douglas Show, hitting a tee shot. Douglas and Bob Hope were looking on.
Woods was an anomaly, an outlier, a golf prodigy, who morphed into the greatest golfer of his generation. At that age, under the tutelage of his father, Earl, and with golf as the centre point in his life, he was bound to make his career in the sport.
Most kids aren’t Tiger Woods. Most kids aren’t exposed to golf at the same level Woods was at such a young age. In fact, research is telling us that the average age of a PGA Tour player starting the game of golf is closer to nine years of age.
The question we face is, how do we steer kids towards golf and then keep them there as they hit those critical teen years?
This is where golf’s Long-Term Player Development Guide (LTPD) comes in. LTPD is a developmental outline that was put together by Golf Canada and the Canadian PGA with the support of Sport Canada. Young people can climb through the sport in an age appropriate manner that follows specific developmental principles.