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Junior Golf Arms Race: Pros/Cons?

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#1 CTgolf



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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:17 AM

What are the cons of providing kids the best of everything (equipment/gadgets/programs/instruction)?

The pros seem obvious and are presumably why parents spend a fortune, but what, if any, are the negative long-term consequences of doing so?

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#2 leezer99


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:28 AM



#3 ethanshapiro



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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:30 AM

I think it varies from situation to situation. Some families are not built financially to support the best of everything for an entire junior golf career. Even if they are, it is a financial strain that will last years. However, in the long term with regards to the junior themselves, it can screw with your head if you've been handed golden opportunities and fantastic instruction and you aren't performing very well. At the end of the day, the most motivated kids are nine-tenths of the players who end up "making it". Obviously instruction and equipment help, but I think a lot of parents are under the impression that if they put in x amount of dollars their kid is going to go play Division I golf. Maybe that doesn't directly respond to the original question, but it is still something to keep in mind.
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#4 Noles


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:37 AM

Aside from the early years when it was just moving up to the next size of US Kids clubs, I have always made sure of 2 things before buying my son new equipment.  First was that it provided real improvement from what he was already using, not just a shiny new toy.  Second, it comes with the understanding that he is going to do some extra things around the house to show his appreciation.  For example, my son who is 14 got a new Rogue driver this weekend.  He was using an R9 that I got for $40 from ebay.  He took the demo out on Friday and Saturday and he clearly hit the Rogue better and further than the R9.  So I agreed to buy it.  Saturday evening he was out in the yard picking up sticks off of the lawn that have been blown there during the string of nor'easters we've had.  Filled 2 trash cans with them.  So far this approach has worked.


#5 Golfingdawg19



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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:07 AM

It doesnít matter what sport it is, parents today want their child to be the next superstar. Many feel the way to do that is to spend lots of money on lessons and equipment. To some degree those things will help but in the end, the kids god given ability and desire will determine how far they go. What many parents donít understand is that with all they money they spend on lessons, equipment, and tournaments they could have paid for their childís college education. Equipment makes a difference but at some point, there is only so much it can do. I think what Noles mentioned above is a good philosophy. If they want something new, you pay half and they pay half. They can earn their half through grades at school, working around the house, etc. Just buying kids stuff all the time isnít the answer and will promote a sense of entitlement.


#6 heavy_hitter


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:36 AM


Everyone in this thread has been spot on.  Nothing wrong with used, hand me down equipment.  Up to a certain age it is not even helpful to the junior player.  People do it because they think they are cool, want their kid to be cool, and to keep up with the Jones’.  If a kid can tell you about feel, what they are looking for in the feel, how they want the clubs to perform, then great.  I would say there are zero kids under the age of 10 that can give you that information.  They want a club or a ball just like they want a pair of Jordan shoes or a new bike.  There are very very few in the 11-13 age group that can tell you.  


#7 Belmont148


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:52 AM

More kids like Justin Thomas.
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#8 ZBigStick


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:59 AM

Equipment can become an early crutch. Not putting well, it’s because they don’t have the latest Cameron, not driving it well etc.
there will be plenty of time for Club Ho’ing down the road.
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#9 Llortamaisey


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:27 AM

The good thing is that people can’t buy desire, competitiveness, and hard work.


#10 kcap



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:36 PM

Like anything in life - if you get it too easily then it has less value.  The same for golf or every other activity my kids do  - work hard towards it, pitch in with the cost and use birthdays to get what you want.

On similar lines and curious what everyone else things - We do not have OEM clubs and my son really wants them.  I was planning to buy him a OEM fitted driver and wood for his b'day but recently decided against it.  The other day we were playing with a couple of really good kids that had M2 and Rogue drivers and the latest IRON sets.  These kids scored low and were more consistent than my son; but importantly there was not much difference between the three of them from the tee box.
My motto since then; you are as good if not better from the tee box - you do not need a M2 to hit the ball long and straight . I prefer you gaining distance on swing than relying on superior equipment to inch out those last 5 yards.

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#11 Tannerbug33



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:46 PM

I will be honest I constantly worry I am leaving something on the table by not having the latest and greatest stuff for my son. I previously got him a Cleveland black driver and shaft from Flynn golf. Yesterday we played 18 and I can say he hit it exactly the same distance as he does his US kids ts3 54 inch. We also took his Taylor made 3 wood and he actually hit his us kids 3 wood longer off the ground and off the tee. I was a little more relaxed by those results but I am sure as soon as he gets beat by a kid with something else I'll be worried again.


#12 BloctonGolf11



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:06 PM

Just going to add my two cents to this entire thought. My son has what I would consider to be a fairly nice bag of equipment; however, his driver head was used (Callaway XR16) and his 3W and Hybrid are 3 year old models (Cobra BioCell). His irons are USKids TS2 and he knows we will not be running out to buy the TS3's because he does not need them. He knows we tinkered to get him a set that fits his game and he will not see any changes any time soon. In addition he is the son of two teachers so he knows we do not have the financial standing to go buy him the newest and greatest and he sacrificed certain other things to get the set he now has. He knows golf is very much a privilege and one way I hammer that home is after every range session, match, or tournament we come home and he cleans his club and bag and goes over his equipment piece by piece. He sees his clubs as very cherished tools for him to play a game that he loves and there is no throwing, mistreating, or forgetting about them. That value is as important as anything else. Sadly, I see a lot of kids his age who get new equipment show very little ownership or care for their clubs.
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#13 walpy



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:16 PM

View PostBelmont148, on 02 April 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

More kids like Justin Thomas.


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#14 Sean2


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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

I see some kids kitted out with a full set if Titleists, or whatever, which they will out grow in a season. Doesn't make much sense to me. My son did just fine with US Kids clubs.
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#15 FSUGolfdog



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:25 PM

Interesting story about this topic, well somewhat about this topic.

My son got fit for irons last week, prior to his fitting there was a 13 year old boy getting fit for irons.  We got there early so we were able to see what the young man was being fit for......PXG irons with tour AD shafts...really close to $6000 for irons.  That's a lot of money for irons for a 13 year old.


#16 tiger1873


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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:37 PM

In the last 20 years there has been a huge improvement in golf equipment. Everything got better and better every year. There are lots of reasons for this but new materials and balls really helped. Most kids clubs are actually pretty bad and to be honest there really only good because there cheap and you can buy it to see how interested they are in the game.  Once they ply a lot you need to look at fitting a kid like any other golfer or you will hurt their game.

A lot patents have expired and limits have been placed on things such as drivers and etc. Buying your kids PXG clubs is not going to give them 30 yards compared a used set of clubs.  I think you start to see a more level playing field because used clubs that perform like new ones will actually be cheap.

If your a parent of a junior the best thing you can do is learn how to build and repair clubs it's actually not that hard.  Search the forums around here and you will learn a lot without spending a lot money.


#17 kekoa


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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:56 PM

Cons:  A lot has been said, but IMO.

- Its expensive.
- Not everyone will agree with the decision.  Just look at some of the juniors playing PXG.  There is a lot of hating going on.
- It might not work and actually be detrimental.
- If things come too easy and too quickly, a kid may have no appreciation for what they have and come to expect everything and anything.

The above is strictly my POV on equipment.  I know a lot of kids/parents who take lessons weekly/monthly and also have fitness/mental coaches on the side as well.


#18 propredicr



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:06 PM

Iíve found it best to buy a one-three year old club (you can read all the review-100ís) in decent condition.  Then,  just keep buying the same used club with corresponding shaft flex to your kidís current ability.

My boy has gone from USKG flex to Menís regular in woods in the last year, alone!  I donít think NEW would have made that much of a difference.  

Even if you have the cash, to others points above...it pribably wonít be a learning experience for the kid if they are given shiny new toys, just because you can.  Perhaps, it will teach them entitlement?   But, I wonít judge.  LOL.  Just jealous that 7-8 yo kids have nicer stix than me!


#19 Golfingdawg19



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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:09 PM

People can buy all the equipment they want but in the end it will come down to god given talent and work ethic. Buying a kid PXG clubs isnít going to help them when they go up against someone who is just more talented. Most parents who are buying all these clubs could pay for their kids college education in all the money they have spent. Donít get me wrong, equipment helps but some parents go overboard. Buying a 10 year old kid PXG irons is ridiculous IMO unless you just have so much money that you donít care. Even then, you are creating a monster by buying the kid everything.


#20 wildcatden


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Posted 04 April 2018 - 10:13 PM

If I could afford it, I would be the biggest club ho on this board.  However, in my reality, I see plenty of cons, that are relative to my perspective. For example, the expense alone makes no sense to me because you could end up spending the cost of at least 1 year of college over short amount of time (clubs, lessons, memberships, travel, tourney fees, etc...). I could not imagine spending $2,000+ on golf equipment for my kid at age 7. That being said, other people's financial means are not my financial means so my input into how someone else spends their money means nothing. Heck, I recently entered the "arms race" with a Fly-Z+ driver and 3-w but I ended up getting these two clubs for less than the cost of a single Cobra Jr F7 (a two-for-one if you will).  And of course, I'm going with a used (hand-me-down from a friend) set of TS51 irons for the next club upgrade.

I would be concerned with three major areas as a parent (for my kid):

1. Entitlement - anything and everything that can go with this.
2. Injury - Clubs not properly fitted could do long term damage, particularly to the lower back, that isn't noticed until a period of time has passed.
3. Golf swing - IMHO winning world championships, etc... means absolutely nothing at this age. I would be concerned of any negative effects/habits that adult clubs, especially if improperly fitted, could have on the development of the golf swing in a junior.

Anyway, lots of great information shared in this thread. As the junior golfer parent, you know your kid the best and have to make the best decision(s) that you can for them.

Edited by wildcatden, 04 April 2018 - 10:15 PM.

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