[Editor's Note: The following article was written by Todd Casabella, Director of Instruction at Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Todd is a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.]
Most kids are given old cut down clubs when they start learning to play golf. This can be one of the worst things you can do for your child especially if they don’t participate in other sports like baseball or tennis. Cut down clubs are generally too heavy, the shafts too stiff and the grips too big. Also, most kids are given clubs that don’t have enough loft for them to get the ball in the air.
If you’re going to introduce your child to golf, the best investment you can make is to buy clubs designed for kids. These clubs are lighter with graphite shafts and have small grips that fit their hands better. You should buy junior clubs that are fit to the child based on their height not their age. Children all develop at different rates that aren’t based on their age.
You don’t need a full set to get started. Actually four clubs will get the job done for kids under 10. A high lofted fairway wood or hybrid, a 9-iron, sand wedge and putter are a great way to get started. For older kids a few more clubs may be required. Kids don’t need a full set until they are around 14 and somewhat proficient at the game.
Don’t be in a hurry to buy a new set. It’s better for kids to play with clubs that are a little too short for them than to play with clubs that are too long. Clubs that are a little too short are easier to swing and force them to get down to the golf ball, a good habit to ingrain early.
U.S. Kids is a junior club company that seems to build the best clubs for kids at a reasonable price.
When introducing them to the game, start at the green and move back. When they begin two putting, introduce them to chipping. When they can chip it on the green and two putt consistently move them back to a full 9-iron shot. When they can score a four or less move them back from the green to 1.5 times their driver distance and play this as a par four. This is the best way to introduce them to the game scoring 3′s, 4′s and 5′s. Don’t just drop them off at the forward tees and whack away down the hole making 9′s and 10′s. This isn’t golf.
Also, take your kids to your local PGA pro for lessons and get involved. Have the pro not only teach your child but teach you what to work on with them.
The number one objective is to keep the game fun at all times. Golf is a game that can be played for a lifetime. Don’t ruin it for them when their kids by forcing improvement and making it a chore.
For more information about Todd, check out his website, www.casabellagolf.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.