Kids Golf Training and Practice
I'm sure like me many of you have just had fun entertaining your kids over the school half term holidays. My stepson Alexander really enjoyed practising golf at the range and at home and I wanted to share with you this week some of the simple tips and exercises that his Dad and leading coach Dan Frost has created to encourage him to get into golf and enjoy the game.
"I never like to put too much pressure on Alexander and certainly don't force him into the game that I fell in love with around his age. We try and keep things simple, fun and ultimately get him ready for when/if he does want to play the game more seriously."
Instruction by : Dan Frost with Alexander Frost, age 9
When it comes to creating good balance and rotation in the golf swing, posture is key. The one problem that kids have with posture is that they are generally inconsistent. I give Alexander this really simple way of finding a good starting position.
- Rest the golf club against your tummy
- Let your arms hang down as you tip forward from your hip
- When the fingertips touch the top of slightly flexed knees your body is in position.
- Now simply grip the club
Tip 2: Monkey grip
I find that most kids don't pay much attention to the grip. They end up with the club too much in their palms with the hands having no relationship to one another, robbing the potential for whip/speed. I remind Alexander of the importance of a 'finger grip' in both hands by forming a monkey grip with him.
Making sure that the club is square to your ball-to-target line place the club into the fingers of your left hand and allow the thumb to wrap over so that it points down the right side.
Now create the opposite feeling with the right hand.
You will notice that the hands look rotated in opposite directions. Try and get away from having two thumbs straight down the middle as this will inhibit the natural wrist action.
Tip 3: Zip to the right
Like most kids, Alexander has a tendency to aim his body to the left of the target. As when he looks up at the target he twists his torso and never returns it to square. I always remind him 'zip to the right'. This gets his head fractionally behind the ball, the right shoulder behind the left and encourages him to make a turn in the backswing and hit the ball from the inside.
Tip 4: Circle swings
Although Alexander is relatively new to the game, I do like him to understand that the ball sits on the outer edge of a circle and he stands inside the circle. Simply positioning hula hoops on the ground encourages him to make a swing that is from in-to-square-to-in, just like the pros. You can see in the picture that I have placed an outer circle, this to encourages circular energy through impact.
Tip 5: Turn and finish
Sometimes children need a little positive encouragement or a key association when they swing the club. Alexander's is simply 'turn and finish'. This means turn his shoulders in the backswing, collect the ball and then hold his finish. Simple is good.
Not all practice needs to be done on the driving range or at the golf course. Co-ordination, strength, flexibility, balance and speed can all be worked on at home. I have made Alexander some simple training aids to help him have fun whilst learning these key functions.
- Speed stick
This is simply a piece dowel (that you can buy in any DIY store) with a golf grip on the end. The game is to create a swishing noise just after impact. This drill allows Alexander to understand where to release his speed in the golf swing.
Stretch 1: Backswing & throughswing
Stretch 2: Spine & shoulder stretch
Stretch 3: Hamstring & hip stretch
Stretch 4: Whole body stretch
Long pole swing
Alexander is extremely fortunate that we have had SouthWest Greens install a wonderful putting green in our back garden, but if you don't have this luxury you can still do all of these tips on your carpet.
2. Pistol grip
3. Instinctive putting routine
4. Putt to make
It is important to keep things really simple when it comes to working around the green. The same thought process comes into account when I ask Alexander to 'chip to make' and I try to keep this technique as though-free as possible. Try these two simple chips:
2. Wrist chip