Tip 3: Use clear unequivocal language

Examples – practice games

Ambiguous Unequivocal
Stand in a safe place.
Do not go too close
Find a space in a safe place before you swing the club.
Stand in the hoop
Stand behind the rope
Stand on the spot
Sit on the bench
photo 1          photo 2
You must only to swing the club:
  -when you are on the green mat
- between the cones
- in front of the rope
photo 3           photo 4


Having spent time introducing golf to non-native English speakers (children and adults) with ZERO prior knowledge of the game I have found it especially important to set an environment which allows for clear simple language to be used. We set just three rules for range games sessions:

  • You MUST ONLY swing your club when you are between the white sticks.
  • You MUST NEVER go onto the longer grass in front of the range.
  • If you are not playing you MUST stand behind the yellow rope.

Examples: playing golf holes

Ambiguous Unequivocal
1. Do not stand too close to your partner when she is hitting. Make sure you are a safe distance away. Stand in a safe place.
2. Make sure that you are at least four yards/metres away.
3. Do not walk ahead of the player before he plays.
1. Stand in a place where you can see your partner’s face, but you cannot touch each other if you hold your clubs out as far as you can. Photo 5
2. You must be at least FOUR of your BIGGEST strides away.
3. We need to SHOW children.


1. The ideas of “too close”, “a safe distance” and a “safe place” are concepts that children need help with. We cannot simple instruct them to stand a safe distance away and expect that they will know what we mean. We need to give specific directions that can be followed. Example one above has worked well.

2. Do children know how far a metre or a yard is? Younger children may still be measuring things out in body units at school (hand spans, feet, steps, strides, fingers etc).

3. How will interpret the words “ahead”? Do children know what we mean by ahead when we are playing a golf hole.