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Buying Junior Golf Equipment
By Frank Mantua

Junior golf equipment has come a long way in the past ten years. Gone are the days of used adult clubs that were cut down to kids length. Itís fine to get a 2 or 3 year old child started with a cut down 7 iron and putter, but as kids get older, they need a set of golf clubs that are made with their body in mind. Today there is a good selection of manufacturers making clubs specifically for juniors. Even with all these different types of clubs to choose from, there still are a few things to remember when buying junior clubs.

Length is the first consideration. The trick is to find a set of clubs that is the right length for the junior golfer, but also a set that the junior can grow with. Remember that it is all right for the junior to choke or grip down on the club. You just donít want them to move their hands down the grip too much. The basic rule is this: if the junior is choking down more than 1 Ĺ to 2 inches, he or she is choking down too much. If they choke down more than 2 inches, than their whole swing changes. They have to manipulate the swing to get the club around their body. A set of clubs where the junior only has to grip down an inch, allows them to make a normal swing at the ball and probably get two seasons out of the clubs.

The next consideration is shaft flex. The main problem with the old cut down set of golf clubs is the stiffness of the shafts. When you take 4 to 5 inches of length of a golf club, you make the shaft extremely stiff. This was the reason that junior golfers could never hit the ball high with a cut-down set of clubs. One good thing with new sets is that the manufacturers are now making shafts that are the right flex for a kidís swing speed. Using light-weight steel and graphite have made junior golf clubs more playable. The shafts of junior clubs today are so flexible that you can bend them with your hands. So check and make sure that your childís set of clubs has a nice flexible shaft.

The weight of the golf club is also very important to junior golfers. If the club is overly heavy, the child will struggle to take the club to the top of the back swing. The struggle to get the club back causes a manipulation of the swing that results in inconsistency. A lighter club will help the junior get the club in the correct position at the top and lead to an easily repeatable swing. Just like with shaft flex, most club companies make junior clubs with lighter heads and shafts. So before you buy, just make sure you check the overall weight of the club and make sure it fits your juniorís age.

The last consideration is grip size. Grip size for kids is a new thought in the last few years. In the past, clubs were cut down and any grip that fit the shaft was put on. The problem of oversized grips is the same for kids as adults. If the grip feels like a baseball bat, itís going to change the swing mechanics. Look for junior grips on their new set of clubs. If youíre changing grips ask for junior grips with a core of .50. These thinner grips will make a difference in your kidís game.

As adults, we realize how tough golf can be some days and how much the right equipment can help our games. By keeping these considerations in mind when buying junior golf clubs, you can help your junior play better golf, and more importantly have a better time on the golf course.

Article Prepared by Frank Mantua, Director of Golf
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© Copyright 2006 by Frank Mantua

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