By Diana Peyrefitte Hilmer

While watching my five year old use his plastic bat to catapult a ball across the yard, images of him being a little golf ingénue run through my head: Could he be a natural? Is he ready to learn the centuries-old game that is such a national pastime?

Ingénue or not, the idea of him learning golf is appealing for many reasons – motor-skill development, increased mental focus, and improved physical ability, just to name a few. Now Intowners have a great place to send their kids to accomplish just that.

Kids Golf Academy is a state-of-the-art, indoor golfing facility that specializes in golf classes, lessons, and camps for kids ages 3-18.  Owner David Bell, a native Australian and varsity golf coach at Atlanta International School, opened his academy on Miami Circle two years ago. He is planning to open a second location near West Paces Ferry and I-75 soon.

“We really emphasize how fun the game is and make it exciting for them,” David says of his academy’s success.  “The kids pick it up easily, and have a great time when they’re here.”

Kids Golf Academy boasts 5,000-square-feet in their Miami Circle location. This includes a putting green, chipping area, hitting bays, and high-tech simulators that let the kids experience real-life visual effects when they are playing. They can even “compete” against well-known professional golfers with the simulators. Their slow-motion video analysis allows for instant feedback during instruction as well.

“We make a point to keep the activities varied and exciting for the kids throughout the classes so they are always engaged,” David points out.  “They aren’t just hitting balls the whole time.  They are learning the fundamentals and mechanics of golf in a fun and motivating environment.”

Morningside resident Lele Ruby has been sending her two boys, ages 5 and 7, there for almost 2 years now. “David is very positive with them, and they love going,” she says. “My son, Riley, recently competed in the Kids World Golf Championship, and it was such a fantastic experience for him.”

With Atlanta’s hot summer on the horizon, Kids Golf Academy’s indoor summer camps are a great way to introduce the sport of golf to your kids. They are offering camps every week from May 28 through Aug. 10. You can choose half-day camps (9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. ) or full day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Regular hour-long, group classes are offered in 12-week sessions for the different age groups. Private lessons can be arranged to accommodate your schedule.

So whether you foresee your little one as a budding golfer, or just want them to benefit from learning a great sport and the positive skills that accompany it, Kids Golf Academy satisfies all of the above in an enjoyable atmosphere. After touring their facility and seeing their simulator in action, you too may be asking to tee off against Phil Mickelson.

For more information, visit golfacademyforkids.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.