Starting a child in the game the right way requires several things. As I wrote in last month’s issue, instilling a love of the sport is paramount. Quality instruction from a recognized youth golf instructor is also instrumental. However, an often overlooked part of the process is the importance of putting the right equipment in a newbie youth golfer’s hands.
Like many of my fellow golf professionals, I cringe when I hear the term “cut down” club. In theory, it makes sense to many parents or grandparents looking to get their little ones into the game. In many cases, parents defer to cut down clubs because they are trying to control costs as a child first enters the game, which is certainly understandable.
Manufactures of youth golf equipment understand this and have come up with several ways to combat it and make sure kids have correctly fitting clubs as they enter into, and grow within, the game. Here are a few companies and programs you may want to recommend to parents of juniors at your facility.
You’re likely familiar with U.S. Kids Golf, as they’re one of the leaders in the youth golf equipment market. But did you know they offer a 6th Club Free program? Whenever parents purchase five clubs either at retail or online, they get the sixth one free. They also offer the TradeUP program, where they take back old clubs and give a credit towards a new set. This is ideal for the junior golfer who’s growing within the game. As they get bigger and stronger, they can trade in their previous set and get a new one that fits their new build.
Based in the “Home of Golf,” Scotland, Golphin is popular across the pond and is gaining notoriety in the U.S. market. The company offers clubs for youth beginners that are lighter than other junior golf clubs and claim to have a larger sweet spot. Like U.S. Kids Golf, they have progressive offerings that fit juniors at different stages of development.
A third option is EPEC Golf, which directly tackles the quandary of buying brand new clubs every time the child grows. They feature an innovative interchangeable head weight system and shaft replacement program that saves parents from purchasing new clubs every year.
Parents can’t really go wrong with any of these options, and as a golf professional or facility operator you can be the hero by educating them on the various equipment purchasing options they have – and by saving the kids from the dreaded “cut down” iron. Bottom line, kids need to learn to love the game, be taught proper technique and have the right tools in their hands. That’s the recipe for creating golfers for life.