First Published by Golf.com

If you’re a golfer with young kids, chances are you’ve googled some variation of this inquiry: “How do I get my kids to love golf?”

It’s only natural for those of us who love the game to want to share it with our little ones, but with so many other enticing things out there clamoring for our kids’ attention, getting them hooked on golf can seem like an increasingly difficult prospect.

But if you happened to be scrolling X (formerly Twitter) over the weekend, you might have encountered some incredibly sage parenting advice from than three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, who was playing in the PNC Championship alongside the younger of his two sons, Ciaran.

Asked by Golf Channel to explain how Ciaran caught the golf bug, Padraig — in typical Padraig fashion — delivered a thorough explanation, which included some surprisingly touching advice for all parents.

While many parents — myself included! — wonder what fundamental should come first for our kids, Harrington says there’s only one thing kids need to acquire that trumps everything else: a love of the game. And that starts with making golf fun.

“In hindsight, the best way, if you want to get your kid into the game of golf, is bring him somewhere where you’re not stressed. That’s very important,” Harrington said. “Kids pick up on that. Let them do what they like when they’re there, have a bit of fun if they want to hit one shot, two shots, 10 shots, play in the bunker, look in the water, or whatever they wanna do, let them do, and generally bring them home before they get tired.

“So the best thing you can do with a kid early on in golf is say, hey, we have to go home, and don’t wait till they’re tired and hate it. Wait till when they’re actually enjoying themselves, go home. And the last thing I would say, and this has nothing to do with being a competitive player, It’s about the love of the game.

“When you’re finished, take 10 minutes to spend with your son or daughter and go and have a Coke, a Pepsi this week, go and have a Pepsi in the bar, wherever it is, and sit there have an ice cream, and spend 10, 15 minutes. Because if they have that 15 minutes alone time with you just, you and them, for the rest of their life, every time they play golf, they remember the 15 minutes they had with their father or mother, and that’s what would keep bringing them back to golf for the next day.”

Tissue, anyone?

If Harrington’s heartfelt advice hit home with you, you’re not alone. The clip has drawn millions of views and been widely shared on social media.

Another piece of advice from Harrington? A love for the game will often create a good player, but it doesn’t always work the other way around.

“Remember, it’s unlikely, if your kid gets good at the game, that doesn’t necessarily make them love the game,” Harrington said. “If your kid loves the game, it’s likely that they’ll become good at it. It’s the love should be first and, and it’s even more important to get a love of the game because we all know you plateau when you play golf.

“There’s many plateaus where it really gets frustrating. And if you don’t love it, those plateaus are going to stop you playing, you’re going to give up. Whereas if you love it, you’ll go through anything. So try and get the love of the game for the kids first.

“They’ll figure out how to play great golf, kids are brilliant. They’ll figure it out. You don’t need to be teaching your kids how to play golf. You need to be ensuring that they’re in an environment that they just love the game, and then they’ll start asking questions.”

Harrington: World Golf Hall of Famer — and a champion-grade father, to boot.