One of the first obstacles that must be conquered whenever a youngster takes up golf is an initial lack of distance.
You can help to overcome this problem by teaching them a few basic fundamentals. This article deals with those techniques that contribute to getting more distance.
Most instructors who work with juniors advocate teaching kids to learn to hit the ball as far as they can first, and then work on being more accurate. Club head speed is an advantage for any golfer, so let’s work on getting more.
Grip - The hands in a golf grip should face each other, almost like you’re praying. Many junior golfers’ hands are in more of a stronger position than weak.
A strong grip refers to the lower hand on the club is more underneath than on top. This is normal for kids because even todays clubs can still be a little heavy for beginners. Hands that are in a strong position usually don’t hurt junior with club head speed, sometimes it can actually help.
Stance - To get maximum distance you need a good base. The feet need to be at least as wide as the shoulders. Making a full shoulder turn is a lot easier with a wide stance.
Feet – Junior golfers use the ground as a spring board to increase power. As a result, kids typically jump to their toes. This is fine and necessary to get distance.
Just a few things to remember try to get the junior to push with the trail foot into the lead foot. Having the heal off the ground is fine as long as they are not totally on their toes like a ballerina. Once they get on their tip-toes they can’t push and the power is gone.
Rotation - If the hips rotate quickly through impact, the speed is transmitted through the arms to the club head.
Encourage your child to create as wide and long a back swing as they can and still make solid contact. Flexibility at this age is no problem and if they over swing a little, let it go for now.
Attack Angle – Most golfers, not just juniors, struggle with a negative attack angle with the driver. This means they are hitting the ball on the way down instead of on the way up.
To correct this, the ball position should be toward the front foot and there should be a little spine tilt back away from the target. The hands have to be at least even with ball if not behind it. This set up will encourage the ball to be hit right as the driver starts to swing up.
Equipment – For juniors, length and flex are very important. The longer the club is, the farther it will go.
The problem is if the club is too long it’s going to be very hard to get center hits on the face. So balance the length with accuracy.
An ideal driver length is about 2 inches under the junior’s sternum. A flexible club will also go farther. There are many manufactures that are making junior clubs that have shafts that fit all club heads speeds.
Having a club that is a little too flexible is better than having a club that is too stiff.
Hitting the ball long is one of the great enjoyments of golf. It is essential to playing the game successfully.
Not everyone can hit it like Bubba Watson but if you follow these tips you can get your child started in the right direction.
Above all, provide opportunities for them to play as possible and always offer lots of encouragement and praise.
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