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What yardage should juniors play from?


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#1 CTgolf

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 07:32 PM

Are the US Kids World yardages for various ages the best distances to play from regularly for a competitive junior golfer?

http://www.uskidsgol...ps-and-yardages

e.g. for boys: 5200 for 10yo, 5600 for 11yo, 6000 for 12yo

And for >12yo, are the US Kids Teen World distances a good benchmark?

I would think mixing up play from different distances would be useful, but for the coaches/instructors out there, how often would you play from each of the different tee yardages?  For example, for a 12yo boy, 50% of the time from 6000yds, 25% from 5600yds, 25% from 6400?

Just trying to think about which tees to play from as the season soon begins



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#2 leezer99

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 08:35 PM

I think straight up yardages aren't the best to look at because slope can make a huge difference on many holes.  We have a par 3 at our course that is listed as 201 but it plays 175 because of the downhill.  On the flip side we have a par four that's 398 uphill but plays closer to 460.

Below are the yardages my boy has played this past year in a 9-11 year old bracket.  This weekend I think he's playing another 3,000 yard course. (These are all 9 hole events)

1. 2,408
2. 2,573
3. 2,694
4. 2,244
5. 2,935
6. 2,973
7. 3,029
8. 3,327

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#3 CTgolf

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 09:01 PM

 leezer99, on 23 March 2018 - 08:35 PM, said:

I think straight up yardages aren't the best to look at because slope can make a huge difference on many holes.  We have a par 3 at our course that is listed as 201 but it plays 175 because of the downhill.  On the flip side we have a par four that's 398 uphill but plays closer to 460.

Below are the yardages my boy has played this past year in a 9-11 year old bracket.  This weekend I think he's playing another 3,000 yard course. (These are all 9 hole events)

1. 2,408
2. 2,573
3. 2,694
4. 2,244
5. 2,935
6. 2,973
7. 3,029
8. 3,327

3000+ seems long for 9-11yo division!

What yardages does your son typically play/practice from on your home course?

The shortest tee on the course we play most frequently is 6000 yds,, so I think I will have to adjust some of the holes to reflect more age- and distance-appropriate yardages

Besides the US Kids World benchmark in the link, someone mentioned in another post using driver distance x 27 as an appropriate yardage to play from (e.g. 5400 yds is driver is typically 200) - I thought that made sense

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#4 iteachgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM

10-12 boy I’d say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I’d say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I’d say 6,700-7,200

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#5 leezer99

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:40 AM

 CTgolf, on 23 March 2018 - 09:01 PM, said:

 leezer99, on 23 March 2018 - 08:35 PM, said:

I think straight up yardages aren't the best to look at because slope can make a huge difference on many holes.  We have a par 3 at our course that is listed as 201 but it plays 175 because of the downhill.  On the flip side we have a par four that's 398 uphill but plays closer to 460.

Below are the yardages my boy has played this past year in a 9-11 year old bracket.  This weekend I think he's playing another 3,000 yard course. (These are all 9 hole events)

1. 2,408
2. 2,573
3. 2,694
4. 2,244
5. 2,935
6. 2,973
7. 3,029
8. 3,327

3000+ seems long for 9-11yo division!

What yardages does your son typically play/practice from on your home course?

The shortest tee on the course we play most frequently is 6000 yds,, so I think I will have to adjust some of the holes to reflect more age- and distance-appropriate yardages

Besides the US Kids World benchmark in the link, someone mentioned in another post using driver distance x 27 as an appropriate yardage to play from (e.g. 5400 yds is driver is typically 200) - I thought that made sense

My boy typically plays from ~6,000 yards at our local goat track.  Think about what you're trying to achieve when setting up yardages.  If you want him to score well play him up... if you want him to learn to smash and scramble push him back.  Both are equally valuable. (BTW - if you took the driver distance x 27 as an appropriate yardage then the guys on the pga tour would be playing 8,000 yard courses)


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#6 Golfingdawg19

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:11 AM

If you are talking about having fun, if should be based on how far they hit it. The bigger kids have an advantage when kids are younger because they are stronger and hit it further. As the kids get older that tends to even out. The US kids yardage’s are fair for the average kid.
They are going to be short for some kids and long for others. They do a good job of trying to hit the average kid.

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#7 CTgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:55 AM

 iteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM, said:

10-12 boy I'd say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I'd say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I'd say 6,700-7,200

This is helpful

For competitive juniors, ideally what kind of club length/distances would you estimate?  By my very rough estimate (with limited sample size), I seem to see a lot of 10yo hitting 180yds driver and 100yds 8i on average, but those types of distances would be *very* short on a 5900-6300 setup?

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#8 CTgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:56 AM

 Golfingdawg19, on 24 March 2018 - 07:11 AM, said:

If you are talking about having fun, if should be based on how far they hit it. The bigger kids have an advantage when kids are younger because they are stronger and hit it further. As the kids get older that tends to even out. The US kids yardage's are fair for the average kid.
They are going to be short for some kids and long for others. They do a good job of trying to hit the average kid.

Basing yardages on distance they hit totally makes sense

I definitely think US Kids Local Tours are very friendly to the average junior golfer

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#9 heavy_hitter

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 10:51 AM

 iteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM, said:

10-12 boy I’d say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I’d say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I’d say 6,700-7,200

Most 10 year olds can’t play from 5,900 yards.  I would say half of the 11 year can play from 5,900 yards.  

Ideally I would say this.

9-10 up to 5,900 yards
11-12 up to 6300 yards
13-15 6,500 yards
16+ unlimited

Will add this is well.  5,900 yards in South Florida is longer than 5,900 yards in even North Florida.  Not much slope or elevation change here at all.  Everything is flat and the humidity makes the ball move a club length less.  Yardages are going to change depending on geographic locations across the state.  Took a buddy to play PGA National a couple of years ago.  Pro asked where we were from.  I told him Florida and buddy was from Texas.  He said “from Florida you will be Ok.  You from Texas will need anywhere from a club and half to 2 clubs more every hole.”  My buddy didn’t understand until around 9 holes in.  He was coming up a club to two clubs short every single hole.

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#10 Sean2

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 10:53 AM

 Golfingdawg19, on 24 March 2018 - 07:11 AM, said:

If you are talking about having fun, if should be based on how far they hit it. The bigger kids have an advantage when kids are younger because they are stronger and hit it further. As the kids get older that tends to even out. The US kids yardage's are fair for the average kid.
They are going to be short for some kids and long for others. They do a good job of trying to hit the average kid.

I agree. A 12 year old just beginning may want to play a shorter yardage versus a "seasoned" 12 year old.

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#11 heavy_hitter

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 11:49 AM

View PostCTgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 07:56 AM, said:

View PostGolfingdawg19, on 24 March 2018 - 07:11 AM, said:

If you are talking about having fun, if should be based on how far they hit it. The bigger kids have an advantage when kids are younger because they are stronger and hit it further. As the kids get older that tends to even out. The US kids yardage's are fair for the average kid.
They are going to be short for some kids and long for others. They do a good job of trying to hit the average kid.

Basing yardages on distance they hit totally makes sense

I definitely think US Kids Local Tours are very friendly to the average junior golfer

IMO, local tours aren’t for seasoned golfers.  It is a beginning point for tournament golf and for status chasers.  If you have status, move on to something better.

Edited by heavy_hitter, 24 March 2018 - 11:50 AM.


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#12 iteachgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 05:36 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 24 March 2018 - 10:51 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM, said:

10-12 boy I’d say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I’d say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I’d say 6,700-7,200

Most 10 year olds can’t play from 5,900 yards.  I would say half of the 11 year can play from 5,900 yards.  

Ideally I would say this.

9-10 up to 5,900 yards
11-12 up to 6300 yards
13-15 6,500 yards
16+ unlimited

Will add this is well.  5,900 yards in South Florida is longer than 5,900 yards in even North Florida.  Not much slope or elevation change here at all.  Everything is flat and the humidity makes the ball move a club length less.  Yardages are going to change depending on geographic locations across the state.  Took a buddy to play PGA National a couple of years ago.  Pro asked where we were from.  I told him Florida and buddy was from Texas.  He said “from Florida you will be Ok.  You from Texas will need anywhere from a club and half to 2 clubs more every hole.”  My buddy didn’t understand until around 9 holes in.  He was coming up a club to two clubs short every single hole.

Humidity makes it go further not shorter.  I was basing the yardage’s on elite players and what you should play if you want to be elite.  Those numbers will change based ability, where you’re at in development, and what your goals are.

That said, I’m a big believer in practice should be harder than tournaments.  The kids who play the hardest courses in town usually have tournament averages that are equivalent or lower than their regular rounds.   Kids from the easiest courses in town always shoot higher come tournament time.   Increasing difficulty during preparation makes them more comfortable during competition.  

Ramya plays all her “casual” rounds of golf at 6,700-6,800 yards though the only time she’ll play that far is US junior and US Women’s Am.  Cody and all the boys I teach that are high school aged who are serious play from the back tee, usually over 7,000 yards.   They won’t feel uncomfortable with the yardage at any event they play since they regularly play from longer yardages.  Again my recommendation is different for a kid who just wants to have fun or play local events.

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#13 CTgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:05 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 05:36 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 24 March 2018 - 10:51 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM, said:

10-12 boy I'd say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I'd say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I'd say 6,700-7,200

Most 10 year olds can't play from 5,900 yards.  I would say half of the 11 year can play from 5,900 yards.  

Ideally I would say this.

9-10 up to 5,900 yards
11-12 up to 6300 yards
13-15 6,500 yards
16+ unlimited

Will add this is well.  5,900 yards in South Florida is longer than 5,900 yards in even North Florida.  Not much slope or elevation change here at all.  Everything is flat and the humidity makes the ball move a club length less.  Yardages are going to change depending on geographic locations across the state.  Took a buddy to play PGA National a couple of years ago.  Pro asked where we were from.  I told him Florida and buddy was from Texas.  He said "from Florida you will be Ok.  You from Texas will need anywhere from a club and half to 2 clubs more every hole."  My buddy didn't understand until around 9 holes in.  He was coming up a club to two clubs short every single hole.

Humidity makes it go further not shorter.  I was basing the yardage's on elite players and what you should play if you want to be elite.  Those numbers will change based ability, where you're at in development, and what your goals are.

That said, I'm a big believer in practice should be harder than tournaments.  The kids who play the hardest courses in town usually have tournament averages that are equivalent or lower than their regular rounds.   Kids from the easiest courses in town always shoot higher come tournament time.   Increasing difficulty during preparation makes them more comfortable during competition.  

Ramya plays all her "casual" rounds of golf at 6,700-6,800 yards though the only time she'll play that far is US junior and US Women's Am.  Cody and all the boys I teach that are high school aged who are serious play from the back tee, usually over 7,000 yards.   They won't feel uncomfortable with the yardage at any event they play since they regularly play from longer yardages.  Again my recommendation is different for a kid who just wants to have fun or play local events.

This makes a lot of sense - especially the part about making practice harder than tournaments.

Do you advocate the oft-mentioned advice to have juniors play shorter distances to learn how to score and go low, and if so, how often would you have them do it?

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#14 iteachgolf

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:19 PM

View PostCTgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:05 PM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 05:36 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 24 March 2018 - 10:51 AM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 24 March 2018 - 06:38 AM, said:

10-12 boy I'd say 5,900-6,300
12-15 I'd say 6,400-6,700
16-18 I'd say 6,700-7,200

Most 10 year olds can't play from 5,900 yards.  I would say half of the 11 year can play from 5,900 yards.  

Ideally I would say this.

9-10 up to 5,900 yards
11-12 up to 6300 yards
13-15 6,500 yards
16+ unlimited

Will add this is well.  5,900 yards in South Florida is longer than 5,900 yards in even North Florida.  Not much slope or elevation change here at all.  Everything is flat and the humidity makes the ball move a club length less.  Yardages are going to change depending on geographic locations across the state.  Took a buddy to play PGA National a couple of years ago.  Pro asked where we were from.  I told him Florida and buddy was from Texas.  He said "from Florida you will be Ok.  You from Texas will need anywhere from a club and half to 2 clubs more every hole."  My buddy didn't understand until around 9 holes in.  He was coming up a club to two clubs short every single hole.

Humidity makes it go further not shorter.  I was basing the yardage's on elite players and what you should play if you want to be elite.  Those numbers will change based ability, where you're at in development, and what your goals are.

That said, I'm a big believer in practice should be harder than tournaments.  The kids who play the hardest courses in town usually have tournament averages that are equivalent or lower than their regular rounds.   Kids from the easiest courses in town always shoot higher come tournament time.   Increasing difficulty during preparation makes them more comfortable during competition.  

Ramya plays all her "casual" rounds of golf at 6,700-6,800 yards though the only time she'll play that far is US junior and US Women's Am.  Cody and all the boys I teach that are high school aged who are serious play from the back tee, usually over 7,000 yards.   They won't feel uncomfortable with the yardage at any event they play since they regularly play from longer yardages.  Again my recommendation is different for a kid who just wants to have fun or play local events.

This makes a lot of sense - especially the part about making practice harder than tournaments.

Do you advocate the oft-mentioned advice to have juniors play shorter distances to learn how to score and go low, and if so, how often would you have them do it?

For players who don’t already go low yes.  Usually 1/5th of the rounds from shorter yardages.   To be elite at the next level I think they should learn to go low at the longer yardages

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#15 Noles

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 08:33 AM

I always believed in a variety.  Try a little bit of everything.  Mix it up.  You can even change tees at the turn.  Age is not always the best factor when deciding yardage.  The good players that are my age play 7500 yard courses.  I have no interest in that, but some others my age like that.  Use ability and what he is preparing for as a starting guide.


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