Here at UK Kids Golf we are committed to not only providing great golfing opportunities for your young golfer but also the information you require to make their relationship with golf a long term success. We have teamed up with a number of leading experts in the fields of Nutrition, Fitness, Psychology and Coaching to make sure you have everything you need to keep your kid on course.
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As a sport mad ten year old I remember the first time I had a go with a golf club belonging to my friend’s father. A few swings later I was hooked. I pestered my parents into taking me into the sports shop to get a club of my own. The shop owner made one fundamental observation, I was naturally griping a right handed club left handed and so I joined the number of naturally right handed people who play left handed. In those days there were few adult left handed clubs to choose from and fewer still left handed junior clubs.
Today there are many club options for kids to choose from. I’ll give you my thoughts into how to choose golf clubs for kids.
How many clubs does my child really need?
There's no need for a 5-year-old to carry fourteen clubs. I encourage the parents of my young juniors to start with wedge and a putter, and slowly add a few irons, hybrids and later a driver. Longer clubs are harder to control and can create frustration.
Many young golfers have such slow swing speeds that 14 clubs are unnecessary. Players need swing speed to create distance gaps between clubs. The distance gaps for young players are usually quite small or unnoticeable. Therefore, a driver, a hybrid, a 7-iron, a wedge and a putter are a perfect set.
What driver should I get?
Less expensive drivers are made from aluminum and stainless steel, while pricier ones are made from titanium. A beginning junior golfer who isn't quite ready for tournament play will do fine with an aluminum driver. Because it's a weaker metal than titanium, an aluminum head has to be thicker. This makes impact sound worse and won't help launch the ball as far, but that won't matter much at this stage in the game.
A junior golfer with a higher swing speed who's ready for tournament golf, however, will reap more benefits from a driver with an all-titanium club head.
What's the ideal club length?
I don’t recommend buying clubs that are too long on the basis that your child will eventually grow into them. Clubs that are too long encourage improper technique and slower hand speed and these early mistakes are tough to correct.
It's okay if a young golfer chokes down on the grip, but never more than two or three inches down. At that point, the club is too long.
Should I get my child’s clubs professionally fitted?
Tiger Woods got his first fitting at the tender age of four, and his clubs were rechecked every six months thereafter.
Of course not everyone can afford to do this but for me most attention should be paid to club length, shaft flex, grip size and weight.
What about pre-packaged junior sets?
A lot of the guesswork on choosing junior clubs has been cut out by offering pre-packaged junior golf sets designed for children of a certain age and height.
Paul Ashwell, UK Kids Golf Coaching Advisor adds, "Many aspiring young golfers have been given cut down men’s clubs. However, these will be too stiff, have wide grips and feel very heavy. This type of equipment can create swing faults that are difficult to fix. Please consult your local professional for advice on specially designed lightweight junior clubs. They are usually inexpensive and offer great value in terms of golf development".
Founder UK KIds Golf
Author: Simon Jackson