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What Your Junior Golfer Needs

Dr. Greg Rose, board certified Doctor of Chiropractic and cofounder of the Titleist Performace Institute, offers tips for parents of junior golfers.

It is no surprise that junior golf is growing like crazy and these kids are good. With the emergence of Tiger Woods over a decade ago the golfing population is getting younger and younger as kids drop the tennis shoes and lace up the FootJoys.

Golf is now a kid’s sport, just take a look at the junior world championships and you will see 10- year-olds shooting under par with text book golf swings and short games you would die for. The Ladies tour has some bright young stars in Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel that could very well dominate the ladies tour in years to come and they are just teenagers.

If your youngster is showing an interest and is developing into a player, here are a few things to keep in mind as they develop:

1. Don’t try and be a coach and parent, you have to know when to let the reins go and get them involved with a golf coach. I have seen many kids walk away from the game because Mom and Dad wanted it more than they did. A good golf coach can not only help your child’s game, they can give them a support structure for life learning skills outside of the home.

2. Proper equipment checks are essential; kids go through growth spurts all the time and they need equipment that can grow with them. If the clubs are too heavy or to light they can affect the development of their golf swings and cause a variety of swing faults.

3. Hit the Gym! The rate at which juniors grow is amazing, but their muscles don’t always grow at the same rate as their bones. This can cause their golf swings to become unstable and as a result they will mis-hit shots and suffer from inconsistency. You need to get them physically screened and develop a personalized fitness program for them. I am always amazed at how inflexible some kids are. If you are interested in getting a customized fitness program for them join the MYTPI site at www.titleistperformanceinstitute.com. This will enable you to do a physical screen on them at home and print out and develop their own customized workout program based on their specific needs.

4. For kids in high school that are considering going to college and would love to position themselves for a college golf team then you need to get some advice from the best in the business and that is John Brooks at www.rednumbersgolf.com John was a college coach for many years and now runs a business advising families on the best strategies for getting into college on a golf scholarship.

5. Play more than you practice, at a young age the biggest thing kids lack is experience. Take a note out of the Australian Institute of Sports that runs some of the best junior golf programs in the world, kids should play golf more than they practice and learn how to score.

For more great golf and fitness tips, tune in to the Golf Fitness Academy by Titleist Monday nights on the Golf Channel.

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