Junior Golf Series – their first steps in golf
1 LeeHarrington The Grip
If an adult golfer wants to teach a junior to play golf, and they want them to develop and enjoy hitting the ball well, they must encourage the junior to grip the club in the right way. When young kids first pick up a golf club they tend to place their hands apart on the grip. This creates two levers and no control of the club for the junior. Do not be too concerned with a perfect grip but do encourage their hands to be touching and together. Some kids can also do better with a twohanded, ten-finger grip rather than learning the overlapping or interlocking finger grip. What is important is the palms of each hand face each other to create a neutral grip. It is also well worth investing in a junior golf club to get the right grip size. Cutting down
your old golf club will not allow the hands to get in this position on the club as the thickness will be too big for their little hands. In addition, the club will be out of balance, and the heavier weight may be an additional burden.
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Developing a solid practice routine with Juniors gives them fantastic structure with their golf at an early age. A simple routine I use for Juniors starting out is: 1. Grip the club (as in tip 1 above), Club face behind the ball, feet together 2. Step–Step (to position their feet apart) 3. Bounce knees keeping weight on balls of feet 4. Turn your back to the target as you swing 5. Swing through to finish, facing the target, with their back foot finishing on their toe (get them to tap their toe to ensure weight transfer) This simple routine over and over gives them a great beginning to a repetitive swing routine.
Lee is a PGA Member and is also the Development Officer at Golf Queensland. Her passion for teaching and an eye for detail is recognised in her reputation as a leading female teacher in Australia. Lee’s experience in teaching provide a basis for programs delivered The Golf School, a Queenslandbased teaching facility. Lee teaches at both the Gold Coast Carrara and Oxley facility weekly. www.thegolfschool.com.au. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone (07) 5596 3373.
Golf Australia recently launched a National Junior Program – the MyGolf skills Challenge and Awards program. The skills challenge provide a framework for assessing the progress of juniors as their skills develop. Targeting boys and girls the program mantra is designed to develop the six key skills of the game – Rip it, Roll it, Chip it, Fly it, Blast it, Bend it. For more information check out the website www.golfaustralia.org.au/mygolf to find a centre to start your junior in golf.
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