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Getting a Junior Golfer Started

Sam K

Hello Team Titleist!

I am looking for advice on getting a junior golfer started. My father and step mother have done a lot over the years to raise my 12 year old cousin, Isaiah. My father passed away in early August. Isaiah has always looked up to me, and I am taking the opportunity to ensure that he has a strong role model in his life. In my experience, at his age this is crucial. Isaiah is so humble and kind, I would like to see this trend continue in his life, in spite of his somewhat chaotic upbringing.

Isaiah has been interested in golf and has played many other sports. He has a a lot of natural talent with golf. This past Saturday I outfitted him with some of the clubs I used as a kid and we went for his first nine holes. I was so impressed with how much he listened and soaked up what I was telling him. I hope his motivation will grow, as golf gives me the perfect opportunity to teach him alot about life (and learn a lot in the process). It gave me such a charge to see a kid get so passionate about something other than the new Iphone! haha.

I want to gauge his interest for a few months, and ensure that his passion for golf will endure. If so, I would like to get him set up with a set of clubs that fit him better. He will likely out grow these clubs in the next few years. Due to this, I want to get him a set that is cost effective but will allow him to build a good foundation for his game.

What are some good cost effective junior golf sets? Should I have him fitted? Should I allow extra shaft length for when he grows? I am sure many of you have mentored young golfer's. I would be grateful for any tips and considerations you can provide. Based on my experience in golf and his enthusiasm, I think there could be potential for great progress. Your experience will be a great help to me! Thanks in advance for advice moving forward.

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5 Replies

  1. Kevin N

    First of all let me express my deepest condolences to you and your family Samuel. I will say a prayer tonight for you all as you deal with the loss of your father.

    I applaud your family for everything that you all have done to make a difference in Isaiah's young life. Are you able to play year round where you are located? If not it may be advisable to wait for spring to hit a fitter up just to make sure you don't have any growth spurts if Isaiah is truly bitten by the bug. Please do let us know how it goes as I am sure we will all be rooting for Isaiah take to this game we all love.
  2. Chuck Z

    Samuel, my condolences to the family. Introducing youngsters to golf thru the first tee program is an excellent program. I went online to see what is available in the Greenville area. I would recommend getting him involved with this program and then the two of you getting together as he progresses for further mentoring. They teach them the game thru steps. They learn to respect the game, the rules as well as learning to play the game. A lot we tend to overlook. Something to consider in developing this fine young man and he gets to learn in a structured environment with kids his own age. With respect.

    www.thefirstteeupstate.org/

    Cheers, Chuck......
  3. Travis W

    At 12, he will grow about a foot in the next 4-5 years. A static fitting should be fine at this stage. Either give him a junior set recommended for his age and height, cut down some of your old clubs, or get some regular flex shafts his size. I remember when I was about 10-12, I got a set of clubs, but I'm pretty sure they had ladies shafts in them to accommodate my size and strength. After a few years, I upgraded to my dad's old Hogan Apex II with stiff shafts. Golf is a great game that should give hime joy for the rest of his life.
  4. Sam K

    Thank you all very much for this advice! Chuck, I will be looking into TFTU program. It looks like a great way for him to learn the whole game, and not just my version haha.
    Kevin, We can play year round here, but I do look for him to hit a growth spurt soon, judging by the marks on his bedroom door from the last few years that is. Cant thank you guys enough for the support and input! Travis, I am currently looking into a junior set of Top Flites (good price), but having my old set cut down may be a great option. I need to get him back on the course asap!
  5. Bruce S

    My deepest condolences to you and your family for the passing of your father. Chuck is absolutely right to get him into the First Tee Program as it's an incredible program that's just not about golf but life as well. I've known two young men that were in the First Tee Program and both worked there way up to the highest level which is an "Ace". I can say that both of them were not only really good golfers but outstanding you men as well. One is now training to become a Paramedic and one is in college and he wants to be a doctor. The one that wants to be a doctor was one of the lucky youngsters who was selected out of all the applicants in the US to play in what used to be called The Nature Valley First Tee at Pebble Beach a couple of years ago. This is a Champion's Tour event and they played Spyglass and Pebble.

    The kids will learn the Nine Core Values of the First Tee which are as follows:

    The Life Skills Experience features incremental levels through which participants progress. All new participants begin at the PLAYer level. PLAYer through Eagle is divided into Part 1 and 2. Each level is listed below with grade requirement and education emphasis.

    PLAYer (1st grade and up) – Purposeful Play
    PLAYer Teen (6th grade and up) – Purposeful Play
    Par (3rd grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills
    Par Teen (6th grade and up) – Interpersonal & Self Management Skills
    Birdie (5th grade and up) – Goal Setting Skills
    Eagle (7th grade and up) – Resilience Skills
    Ace (9th grade and up) – Career, Education, Volunteerism and Golf

    Throughout each level participants experience the usefulness of The First Tee’s Nine Core Values – Respect, Courtesy, Responsibility, Honesty, Sportsmanship Confidence, Judgment, Perseverance, and Integrity.

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