Getting Started in Junior Golf… Made Easy – part 1

Parenting a Junior Golfer leads to memories that last a lifetime!

Wow, here we’ve been going into a lot of details about what to do to support and encourage your Junior Golfer, but maybe you’re visiting for the first time and hadn’t consider golf as an option for your youngster… Well here’s our first installment of how to start your child in the wonderful, exciting and healthy world of Junior Golf.

This will begin some of the greatest experiences you, your Junior Golfer and all your family will ever have!

Let’s begin:

1.  Does your child have any interest in golf?  How do you know?

  • Start by asking and taking a trip to the range. let them swing at some balls and watch the excitement in his or her eyes.
  • If your child is very young, under 5 years old, buy a set of plastic clubs at a discount store and let them swing at whiffle balls in the yard.
  • If your child seems to have little interest right now, that’s OK.
  • Expose them to some golf:  have them watch golf on TV with you
    • Let them putt on the carpet and again take a couple of swings at the good old whiffle balls…great, inexpensive training aids.
    • It’s kind of like the kiddo who does not want to go fishing, but you take them anyway.  They really are not too interested until someone catches that first fish.  Then they say, “Do you think I could try that?”
    • Promote Positive Exposure without being pushy.
Wood, putter and iron are shown.

Wood, putter and iron are shown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  Get them some clubs.  Pre-owned children’s/beginner’s sets are readily available.

  • Every golf-related business either has some on hand or knows where you can get some at a very inexpensive price.
  • To get started, your JG needs only a few clubs:  5-iron, 7-iron, 9-iron, pitching wedge, putter and either a 3-wood or 5-wood.
  • U. S Kids Golf makes great clubs for youngsters.
  • As their skills increase, you can upgrade to more clubs and more different types/brands of clubs-skill level compatible.
  • Caution:  make sure the clubs are the correct length for your child.
    •   Clubs that are too long or too short do not give your Junior Golfer much chance of success.
    • Get your child fitted at a major sporting goods store or golf facility.
    • Write down the correct shaft length of the 5-iron that fits your child.
    • While you may be charged for the fitting, you are not obligated to buy clubs from the person that does the fitting.
    • But you do want to buy clubs with a 5-iron that matches the length you wrote down.

3.  Buy a golf bag.  As a rule, buy the lightest bag that their stature allows them to carry.

  • One or two pockets are all they need at this point.
  • Stand bags -the ones with the legs that pop out when you set them down, are super!
  • Buy the size that fits your Junior Golfer, not you.

4.  Buy the best quality golf shoes you can afford.  Top name brands include Adidas, Etonic, Footjoy and Nike among others.

  • Make sure they fit properly.
  • Soft spikes are required on almost every golf course these days
  • Buy a waterproof style if you can afford it.  Wet feet are no fun on the golf course.
  • S3 has worn the Adidas Tour 360 4.0’s for the last 4 years and they are fabulous-a bit pricey, but an excellent value!

5.  Get a glove.  99% of all golfers who wear gloves, wear one on their weak hand.

  • If your Junior Golfer is playing golf right-handed, they would use a glove on their left hand.
  • The best selection of gloves is at the biggest golf stores.
  • If your Junior Golfer needs a Youth or Children’s glove-their hand is smaller than an Adult XS, yes, you need to shop at a big golf store.
  • For the girls, there are a good variety of gloves in very lady-like colors.  Again, go to the bigger golf stores or big sporting goods stores.
  • Gloves serve several purposes:  controlling moisture, controlling grip, helping with feel and with beginners, even stopping the formation of blisters.  And gloves just look good!

Okay, these are the first 5 tips, 5 more to come, we don’t want to overload you… that would be like carrying a full pro’s bag for 18 holes – think of this more as a golf cart version – we want you to enjoy the game, and this blog!

Now get out there and yes… have fun! Sam and Linda

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