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Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Golf With Kids

Golfing With Kids

If you've decided that a golfing vacation with the younger set is what you want, you should consider a few things. First off, be honest, do you want to play a lot of golf and hope Junior will get the bug, or have you tested the waters and determined that this is what everyone wants? You could always go to a wonderful golf mecca such as Palm Springs, Myrtle Beach or Scottsdale and stay in a hotel or motel and take lessons at one of the good golf schools. Or you could spend the bucks to go to a fantastic resort, take advantage of a good golf package, and send Junior to the driving range. Golf resorts generally cater to adults and serious golfers take a dim view of kids on the course--plus the fact that you'll be forking over hefty green fees for that kid. We think a good way is to rent a condo in a golf community, take lessons, and be able to practice whenever the urge hits. Golf communities abound in the Carolinas, Arizona, Hawaii and even New England. After you've had your lessons, you can use the practice greens, chipping areas, and you have all the recreational amenities.

Could be you want to sign Junior up for golf camp. Try the Leadbetter schools--they cater to kids and adults and are in places we all want to go, such as Palm Springs, Orlando, Atlanta, and Naples and Bradenton, Florida. Their number is (800) 424-DLGA. Another reputable teaching program for younger people is a place in Massachusetts called Winchendon, and their number is (800) 824-7336. And there's the "Coaches" program with schools in various places. Call them at (800) 929-1108. Prices vary--everyone charges what the traffic will bear, so check around, and if you're willing to go to Arizona in July, you'll probably find some fantastic deals. Ask the sales people for a referral list in your area, then call those people and see what they thought. Any good school will give you names of previous students. Also, ask among your friends, and where you play golf, people are eager usually to share a good experience.

Ten Basics for Junior Golfers:

1) Get a copy of the United States Golf Association's Official Rules of Play booklet. Read it and carry it in your bag. Older players will be in awe, and you'll learn the basics of the game plus the elements of etiquette on the course.

2) Understand and abide by the dress code of golf. This is the time to leave tank tops, baggy clothes and gorilla suits in the closet.

3) When you're playing golf, PLAY. Don't practice, and don't hold up the group behind you--the foursome waiting for you might have the guy who was going to give a new golfer his old set of Big Berthas, but when you dawdled he muttered "Forget that tortoise."

4) Don't get sucked into expensive equipment. A beginner can use garage sale clubs, and when your handicap starts to come down and your Dad is ashamed to be seen with you, maybe he'll surprise you.

5) Never play in a thunderstorm--head for the clubhouse and watch the storm on TV.

6) Walk whenever possible--it's good exercise, carts cost too much, and you should save using them 'till the day your age matches your total score for 18 holes.

7) Be courteous to the people in the pro shop; they could be your new best friends.

8) Learn to control your temper on the golf course. Just because you shanked a drive into the parking lot and heard shattering glass doesn't mean you can explode to the point that old ladies sneer and report you to the marshal.

9) Be adventuresome. Frequently when you want to play, the starter will pair you with a stranger, and this can be a learning experience. Don't act disgusted that you have to play with a stranger--he might be annoyed that he has to play with you.

10) Above all, enjoy the game, the camaraderie, and the chance to meet a new challenge in a gorgeous setting.

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