The age at which you start to play golf is key to the performance that you can achieve in this sport. It is said that it’s easier to comprehend the complex technique and strategy of this wonderful game when you are a kid. There are cases that proof that this early training leads to great players even at early ages, such as Sergio García, Tiger Woods or Chema Olazábal.
What’s the best age to start playing golf?
Sergio García is a great example. He began playing golf when he was just a three year old boy. At the time, his father was a golf teacher, so he became his teacher too, and taught him everything about the swing technique just about when he was learning to walk. Sergio García won in all categories of the Spanish National Championship and was proclaimed European amateur champion when he was only 15 years old. This win allowed him to debut in The Open Championship one year later –at the age of 16– with Seve Ballesteros and John Daly.
Nevertheless, there are cases of great players with professional success that began playing golf quite late, like the australian golfer Greg Norman, The White Shark. Norman began to play golf when he was 15 years old, an atypical age for professionals, but this didn’t keep him away from being nº1 of the world during 331 weeks in a row during the 80’s and the 90’s, with 85 victories in international tournaments, two of them in a Major (he won The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993)
What’s the best age to begin playing golf? What is the maximum age to begin in order to be able to play with the best golfers of the world? There is no secret formula that helps predict this results, but if you take a look at the players of The Majors, you can see that the sooner you learn the fundamentals of golf and train technique and strategy, the more chances you’ll have to get to play in the European Tour and the PGA Tour.
Some good examples in business
You can ask a similar question in business, looking for the best age to begin. Obviously, in business there’s a wider range of cases, as there are much more companies than golfers, but there have been cases where the precocity of the businessmen has been key to success. See Marck Zuckerberg as an example, being able to start Facebook while he was just a student.
Another example of precocity at business is Amancio Ortega, co-founder of textile giant Inditex, the company behind worldwide renowned brands like Zara, Pull and Bear, Bershka or Massimo Dutti, among others. This company is a world leader in its sector and recalls attention because of its history and evolution. Amancio Ortega began working at a small clothing store at La Coruña when he was 14 years old, being nothing like the actual postgraduates from business schools. Years later he founded his first textile company, “GOA Confecciones”, dedicated to the manufacture of robes. That company was the germ of Zara.
What have Tiger Woods, Sergio García and Amancio Ortega in common? What makes Greg Norman different from those who begin their professional career later than what it’s supposed to be the optimum age? Maybe it’s a matter of knowing the skills required and achieve the maturity needed to handle a career or a business. Maybe it’s a matter of learning ability and efficiency, something that not everyone is able to achieve, and that’s why it is more difficult to succeed in golf or business at later ages. What I find interesting is how people who have contact with business at early ages are able to start a business and succeed. Hence the importance of training programs for the younger being close to reality, to what is the day to day in business.