Many devotees of golf argue that one is never too young to begin a lifetime acquaintance with the game. The earlier one begins to master the basics of the sport, these golfers maintain, the easier it will be to acquire the essential habits and patterns that make for continued success on the golf course.
One of the prerequisites for promoting an early start was golf equipment appropriately sized for the smaller stance and shorter reach of a boy or girl. By the 1920s, the Burke Golf Company of Newark, Ohio, along with other leading golf equipment manufacturers, was marketing sets of clubs especially designed to accommodate the needs and stature of younger golfers.
Books have also played a key role in initiating boys and girls into the joys and challenges of the game. T. Henry Cotton's Golf; Being a Short Treatise for the Use of Young People . . . (1931) and O. B. Keeler's The Boys' Life of Bobby Jones (1931) were two early attempts to interest young people in the game at its best. Books published by two writers with names familar in Chicago, champion golfer Chick Evans and journalist Robert A. Cromie, made equally imaginative efforts to draw young readers into an understanding of the game. Eddie Merrins and Michael McTeigue, in their Golf for the Young (1983) avoided condescending to younger players and explained the finer points of the game in terms adults would find familiar.
Behind every successful child golfer there is undoubtedly a dedicated
parent. Dave Bauer, in recounting Golf Techniques of the Bauer Sisters .
. . (1951) cannot refrain from expressing the pride he feels in
coaching his two girls, Alice and Marlene, to outstanding performances
on the golf course. "Petite, trim, 105-pound" Alice, he reports in the
opening pages of his book, is "booming drives 225 yards down the
fairway," while "pretty, girlish" Marlene is "shooting a 66 from men's
tees over a championship course." For the golf enthusiast, there could
be no better argument for an early start.