When the brain adopts a motor pattern (in this case we will refer to the golf swing) it can “remain” there during the rest of our lives. This is why it is so important to learn with the appropriate equipment early on.
Children grow in an unpredictable manner; this gives parents a hard time to constantly provide their kids with the right equipment. This is why many times buying a heavier and longer club that will “last more” for their kids seems like an option, however, after repeated practice and play with unsuited equipment, this will tinker with their kids movement patterns and cause unnecessary actions and compensations to interfere in their golf swing development.
My first advice is directed to every junior golf parent; talk with your children`s golf coach. They are trained professionals that should have useful knowledge about psycho motor learning, coordination, the ability to generate club-head speed in their students, and so on; this ‘data’ is a great advantage when in coming to decide what is the best piece of equipment for your little ones.
The main features to look for in junior clubs are:
- Club Length: Key to the proper development of motor skills and for a more consistent strike and ball flight.
- Club Weight: Having the club with the right weights at the right places will make a huge difference in avoiding injuries and in the proper development of the golf swing biomechanics.
- Grip Girth: This will encourage a proper finger grip (not a palm-grip) and thus, a better hand control (flexion, extension, radial/ulnar deviation, pronation/supination of the arms and forearms), resulting in better club-head speed/control (extremely important in these ages).
- Shaft Flex: Plays a big role in speed, appropriate swing biomechanics and in solid/consistent contact.
Three weeks ago I fitted a student called Andrea Revuelta and I would like to share the results with you to better explain what are the benefits club fitting can bring to your children.
- Name: Andrea Revuelta
- Age: 10 years
- Handicap: 12,2
- Favorite Food: Rice and Fried Egg
- Pet: Dog
- Color: Pink
- Favorite Movie: Imagine That.
Golf Club Profile:
- White: Andrea´s Club
- Yellow: Fitting Club
During a fitting it is very important to listen what the students have to say. Andrea`s commentaries in every test (3 different days), were always about how she felt her club too heavy and that interfered with her ability to make a proper golf swing.
As far as the technical side, my opinion is that with her club (21 grams heavier), she had trouble bringing the club in front of her during the downswing, resulting in heavy shots with a slightly open face (push ball flight). With the lighter club I noticed improvement in her downswing motion as well as in her body movements and ball striking consistency.
Today, Andrea has a new set of lighter golf clubs and her shot dispersion and striking consistency are at another level.
I hope this example works as evidence to understand the importance in having the proper equipment, especially in such early ages.