Junior Golf Coaching – A Useful Guide
If you’ve got your child into golf, or are considering getting them into golf, it can be daunting to know where to begin. Whether it’s equipment, where to practice, affordability, costs, coaching, competitions, membership and everything else, golf is unique in its complexity.
It is often the case that children show an interest in golf, when they are introduced to it by their parents, who play golf themselves. Unfortunately – across the UK – golf isn’t introduced into schools – until quite late on in high school – if at all. Our now 9 year old has played golf for over 3 years and remains the only golfer in his school.
As parents to a junior golfer and founders of Noisy Golf, we’ve been fortunate to get some brilliant advice from golfing professionals, which has been incredibly helpful for our own journey. Since launching in 2020, we’ve embarked on not only being able to provide outstanding junior golf clothing, but as a brand, we want to share our own experiences and share the very best advice from industry professionals.
You can view our podcast – The Noisy Golfer – where we’ve spoken with some of the best junior golf coaches in the world by visiting our YouTube Channel here.
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Does a Junior Golfer, Need a Junior Golf Coach?
The first thing to do is to keep it fun. Golf is hard, even at the best of times, so before committing to golf coaching, it is important that the child is having fun.
At some point in your junior golfers journey and assuming you aren’t a golf coach yourself. It most definitely helps. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive, one-to-one and most definitely, never too technical.
Back in 2019, we decided to see if our now 9 year old, wanted to go to the driving range. It was a resounding yes! Very quickly, the golfing bug bit and we found ourselves at the driving range, multiple times per week. Soon after, we enrolled our son into a junior golf academy in Chester. The cost of 6 x 1 hour sessions, was £45 (£7.50 per hour) with one of Cheshire’s top golf coaches – Tony Davies.
Having these sessions near us was brilliant. It helped our son get some much needed tips from a qualified professional and the fun element of playing golf was enhanced, through a series of fun games. Making new friends along the way for children is always an added benefit!
Accessing similar programs can sometimes be luck of the draw. Across our local area in the Wirral, we are blessed with a number of wonderful golf courses, the majority of which offering free junior membership. But fairly few junior golf programs.
The more advanced golfers become, the more lonely it can be as a sport. Especially where a player’s success can depend on working technically with a coach on a one-to-one level.
It is important in the formative years of playing golf, that golf is associated with being fun and making lifelong and meaningful relationships with other junior golfers.
How Often Should a Junior Golfer Be Coached?
Firstly, junior golf coaching should never be perceived as overly technical. Generally speaking, it isn’t. If you visit a coach, who early on, is trying to talk about smash factor, shaft lean and launch angle, it’s probably best to move onto someone else.
Junior golf sessions, cater for all levels of play, which means that a coach will spend time one-to-one during a session working on fundamentals. Mastering the grip, stance and ball position go a long way in developing a child’s overall skill set.
Group sessions have many advantages when it comes junior golfers developing their skills. Fun games around, putting, chipping and driving help junior golfers develop the array of shots required, without it being technical. The very best junior golf coaches aren’t technical at all. Once the fundamentals are in place, golf is intuitive and more around the games being played.
Weekly group sessions with a coach are a brilliant way to develop, but beyond that, practicing what is learned between lessons, is where consistency and improvement is made. Whether it’s in the kitchen, on the stairs or in the garden, golf skills can be developed virtally anywhere. The more fun it is and the more frequently you play, the better your junior golfer will become.
Never Compare Your Child!
Something we feel is important to say and has been echoed from every golf coach we’ve spoken to on our YouTube Channel is to never, compare your child’s golfing ability to another.
Our minds have been blown at some of the amazing talent we’ve seen. More recently our son competed in the World Junior Champion of Champions in Northern Ireland. The standard of junior golf is insane! However, every child develops in their own way. There are many wonderfully gifted junior golfers, often heralded as ‘the next big thing’ but by the time they are 12-13 years old, they burn out. Our podcast with world leading junior golf coach Michelle Holmes talks brilliantly on the ‘dangers of burnout’.
Play the long game! Not applying pressure on your child is key. Laugh at the mis-hits, smile at the missed putts, embrace it for what it is. If you can keep your child playing golf well into their teens, chances are, you’ve got a brilliant golfer on your hands. Early success, whilst brilliant, could fizzle out, if too much pressure on success is applied.
It’s Always Important to Look Good!
Learning the game is one thing, looking the part is another. Check out our affordable and high quality range of junior golf clothing by clicking here!