There is no definite age for a child to start playing golf, but they won’t become good players simply by starting early. It is important to remember that the characteristics of their swing are formed almost instantly, therefore it is essential to build good foundations and get the basics right from day one.
The most important thing to remember, when teaching a junior is that golf should be fun. If the learning process is enjoyable and varied, you’ll be amazed at what can be achieved.
Equipment for Junior Golfers
It is essential that the right equipment is used as playing with clubs that are too heavy or long can ruin a young players swing for good. For example, if a junior starts off with a club that is too long, there’s a good chance that they will develop a rounded, flat swing as a result of their wrists buckling in the early part of the takeaway.
On the other hand, if the clubs are too heavy, it might lead to excessive shoulder action at the beginning leading to a tilting body action.
Nowadays there are many clubs on the market especially made for juniors and they are inexpensive compared to adult clubs. The best bet is to go to your local club and get advice from a PGA pro. But getting the right equipment is absolutely essential.
Importance of Grip For Junior Golfers
It doesn’t matter whether a junior naturally favours the interlocking, Vardon or baseball grip, what is important is that the palms of the hand face each other for a neutral grip. This will dramatically improve their chances of developing a neutral swing without any looping movements.
Best bet is to cut out a picture from a golf magazine of a famous player, stick it on a wall somewhere near a mirror and get the youngster to copy it.
Athletic Golf Posture for Kids
Together with the grip, the stance and posture will determine the quality of the swing.
The stance must look athletic without rounded shoulders and the back should be straight. There is a tendency for juniors to stand too close to the ball with their hands tucked between their thighs.
Once again cut out a picture of a pro and stick it next to the photo of the grip. To make it fun, try to copy it yourself. It will definitely cause a few laughs, remember you must keep it fun.
Good Stance for Improvement
The key to the stance you have practised at home is to make sure you continue the same habits when you go to the range to hit balls. When the junior is standing in front of the mirror and has taken up a good stance, far enough away from the ball, get him than to stand on a large piece of paper, mark where the ball is and then trace around his feet.
When you go to the range take this with you and if you think he is slipping into bad habits refresh his mind by getting him to stand on the paper so he can understand how far away from the ball he should be.
It is a tremendous gift to give your child a hobby they will enjoy for life. Make sure you encourage them through the early years and remember – make it fun!