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Choosing the Right Junior Golf Equipment
So you're thinking about starting your child in junior golf, but you're not sure where to start when it comes to finding the appropriate equipment.
The good news is that the golf industry has made great strides in recent years developing age-appropriate equipment for youth golfers. In years past, before junior golf shafts were available, parents made it a common practice to cut down an adult set of golf clubs for their kids. This is certainly an inexpensive way of creating a junior golf set; however, it is not a good solution for several reasons.
Why Not Use/Modify Adult Clubs?
- Most men's golf club shafts are on the stiffer side and do not provide enough flex for the youth golfer.
- The heads on adult golf clubs are heavier and more difficult for the golf junior to lift, which makes it harder to get a good backswing.
- The lofts on adult clubs (mainly men's clubs) are usually stronger, which makes it difficult for the younger golfer to get the ball airborne.
All of these problems will make it much more difficult for your beginning golfer to learn and enjoy the game. They may become easily frustrated and lose confidence, thus causing them to lose interest in golf altogether.
How Are Junior Clubs Different?
Most junior golf clubs today are made with the child's height and weight in mind, and they are very affordable, as well.
- They are more lofted to give your child a better opportunity to get the ball airborne.
- They weigh less, which makes it easier for younger golfers to control the clubs.
- The materials are less expensive in order to keep the overall cost down.
The question then becomes how do you select the correct set for your child?
Factors to Consider for Youth Golf Clubs
Fitting your child for the right size golf clubs should not be taken for granted. You wouldn't want to randomly purchase just any old size three pair of jeans just because your toddler is three years old—and the same is true for golf clubs, to an extent.
Age of the Child
Most kids' golf sets are broken down by age groupings, and for the beginning golfer that will work fine—in most cases. However, there are other considerations that should be taken into account.
Height, Weight, and Athletic Ability
The length of the clubs should be based on the child's height as well as the child's athletic ability. If the clubs are too long, the golf junior will have a tendency to automatically choke down on the club, which will not be beneficial to the child's swing. Obviously, the child's build and athletic ability may allow for slightly longer clubs in some cases. And a larger child will have more body mass, which may allow for a somewhat longer club than would be appropriate for someone who is lighter weight. In addition, some youth golfers will have better hand-eye coordination, so a longer club could be in order.
Age-based fitting does not always allow for a proper fitting of youth golf clubs due to differences in heights and weights in the age category.
Height vs. Driver Length Chart
What About Swing Weight?
Some parents, especially those who are good golfers themselves, tend to be concerned with the swing weight of the junior golf set. With very short clubs, such as the 3-5-year-old kids' clubs shown below, the swing weight may be very low. However, the overall club weight is more important for the golf junior. For very short youngsters it is important to keep the overall weight of the club low so that they can swing more efficiently.
Taller and stronger golfers will need heavier overall weighted clubs so as to allow for a more natural swing. If the clubs are too light, bad swing habits could develop.
How Many Clubs Does My Beginner Need?
The typical set for the very youngest golfer should include a putter, a single lofted iron such as a 5-7 iron and a wood. These three clubs will suffice in the beginning.
What Should I Add as Their Skills Develop?
As your child gets older and more proficient, a good junior golf set will include the putter, a 3 wood and a 5, 7 and 9 (pitching wedge) irons. Do not add too many of the lower lofted clubs such as the 2 or 3 iron to your child's set because youngsters will not be able to get the ball airlifted with these lower clubs.
Typical Beginner Set
Specs: Dexton Big Driver Junior Golf Clubs
Typical Developing Junior Set
Specs: Dexton Big Driver Junior Golf Set
Youth Golf Can Be Very Rewarding
Choosing and fitting your youngster with the appropriate clubs can be very rewarding for both you and your child. Just keep in mind that you need to choose the club length based on the child's height and ability rather than simply on their age. A youth club that is too long, too heavy, or too stiff will diminish your child's ability and potentially cause frustration. Choosing the right clubs the first time around will get the desired result: a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your child.
Do not be too concerned about your child outgrowing their kid's clubs. Clubs that are too long will only create poor swing habits. If your child is not succeeding and seeing good results, they will likely want to quit and give up altogether.
What Should I Do With Outgrown Clubs?
You can always pass down the outgrown clubs to younger siblings or friends in future years. If your child does outgrow the clubs and you would like to continue using them, you can always lengthen the shafts rather inexpensively. You can use portions of other used steel shafts to extend the clubs or insert hardwood dowels of the appropriate size to add new length and new life onto your junior golf set.
If you do decide to purchase a set of longer shafts to extend the life of the set, our recommendation is not to go any more than one inch longer.
© 2009 All Child's Play
James on July 06, 2020:
3-5 yrs old, and 9-12. What happened to specs for 5-9???
Marianne Westrope from Central Ontario on June 21, 2013:
I'm planning on taking my grandchildren (ages 9 and 8) to the driving range this weekend. Thanks for the info.
Alan doyle on June 19, 2013:
I agre with Freddie tt about the golf swing, but I often get my 10 yr old girl to practice driving with an adult driver, it helps her slow her swing down and strengthens her wrists, try it with your kids at the driving range and then let them use a kids driver and see the difference!!!!
Freddie TT on January 10, 2012:
The girls Club is clearly too long and her swing is not good. So why is this video being shown after all the advice? It doesn't make sense
My boy and golf! on October 16, 2011:
My son is 6 years old and very into golf. He plays soccer and wants to play golf as well. My husband, my oldest son, and me watch football on Sundays and my youngest will watch the PGA tour. He just loves it. Seems like it not a boring subject to him. The thing is he is a 6 years old and almost as tall as a 7-7 1/2 year old. Trying to find the right clubs are going to be hard and Christmas is right around the corner. We were hoping to get the right clubs and not have to size him up so it would be a surprise, but I guess we don't really have a choice. Maybe he won't realize why he is being sized..HAHA
Junior golf on July 16, 2011:
Very nice to se people taking notice of junior golfers and finally producing the right equipment for them. Very nice hub.
Bounce House on February 12, 2011:
Very detailed and useful information. I was not sure if my 4 year old son is old enough for golfing.
rodel on July 01, 2009:
kindky broaden the information so that everyone knows it well....