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Growing Up Golf Part 4: Lesson Time

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Click here to read more stories from Kadin’s series, “Growing Up Golf.”

As my journey continues with my children and their golf careers I have started the search for the right instructor for when the time comes. I have noticed in our forum that this seems to be a popular question… “How do I find an instructor for my child?”

I have taken the time to do some research, and I want to pass it on to all my fellow member/parents looking to answer this same question.

First things first you need to decide if the time is right for you child to take on structured lessons. I can not answer this for you — there is no magical age. You as the parent need to make this decision based on your child’s maturity and ability level. As a past instructor for baseball/softball, I had a rule that I would only take on students that were 7 or older. This is a pretty good general rule to follow.

Now, I know there are exceptions to the rule. My youngest student was 4 years old. When his Dad called me to set up lessons and I explained that I only took students that were 7 or older, but he convinced me to take a look at him. Well, the 4-year-old turned out to have exceptional ability — the skill level of an 8-year-old. He was able to hit pitches at speeds above 40 mph. With that said, you as a parent will have a good idea if your son/daughter is ready to take on lessons.

While searching for junior instructors I ran across the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation (their web address is uskidsgolf.com). I found this site to be very informative, and they have listed the top 50 U.S. Kids Golf Certified Instructors. A U.S. Kids Golf Certified Instructor is recognized as an expert in teaching golf to kids ages 12 and under. Each instructor uses an established curriculum that features game-based learning methods and play on a scaled golf course

Click here for the list of the top 50 Instructors as ranked by the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation

Another idea you as a parent should consider is the First Tee Program. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, the First Tee is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization. It’s purpose is to give young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.

The mission of The First Tee is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The program is designed for young people ages 8-18. Some chapters offer modified programs for younger participants. All of the First Tee facilities are public facilities and have open times for participants of all ages. The First Tee National School Program serves young people in kindergarten through 5th grade.

The First Tee Life Skills Experience is used to further enhance and instill the inherent values of the game of golf, and show participants how these values transfer into other aspects of their lives. Students learn about responsibility, courtesy, how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences, how to set goals, how to define those goals, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude as well as the importance of showing respect for others.

Contact your local courses to find a participating First Tee program, you can also visit their website at thefirsttee.org. It is another great way to get your child involved in golf and be around other children doing the same.

If the time is right for your child or if your like me and looking to the future of structured lessons, these are a couple of good places to start.

Click here for more discussion in the “Junior Golf” forum. 

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Kadin Mahmet has a passion for golf. He has coached at the collegiate level and has worked as an instructor specializing in youth athletics. You can follow Kadin on Twitter @BigKadin. "Like" Growing Up Golf on Facebook @ facebook.com/Growing.Up.Golf for more content.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. jrgolfdad

    Dec 22, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Great stuff! The entire series! I hope you don’t mind, but posted to my forum and my G+ community with links back to the WRX articles. Great insight! Thanks for sharing

    • Kadin Mahmet

      Dec 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you jrgofdad! And your welcome..stay tuned, plenty more to come.

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On Spec

On Spec: Rickie Fowler Rev33 irons and more signature golf clubs

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This week’s show is all about signature golf clubs, brought on by the release of the Cobra RF Proto Rev33 irons. From big-name players to historical releases there is a lot to cover from the world of modern equipment.

But before that host, Ryan Barath has something to get off his chest about pro-am golf and TV coverage.

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Opinion & Analysis

“Golfers pay way too much attention to iron lofts” – On Spec podcast

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On this week’s episode of the “On Spec” podcast on the GolfWRX radio network hosted by Ryan Barath, the main focus of the show was on the misconception around fitting irons based on handicap and the focus on iron lofts – AKA “loft jacking”

The goal of the episode was to explain how irons are designed to help optimize the target golfer using a number of factors including lofts, and why it’s more important to focus on final results rather than stock specs.

“The goal should be for your clubs to go the right distance with the right trajectory… golfers focus too much on loft and not dynamics”

You can listen to the full show below, the above quote starts at 22:42

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Opinion & Analysis

Keep your golf body moving at home

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Over the past few months, I’m willing to bet that a lack of golf, limited access to gyms and spending more time at home in sitting positions will likely be having a negative effect on our posture.

This means certain muscles (pecs, abs, hip flexors) getting tight and short, thereby hunching us over, rounding our shoulders forward and tightening our hips. This combination can wreak havoc on our golf swings, particularly our ability to rotate efficiently.

This simple sequence of exercises, performed daily, will help maintain posture and mobility in the key areas that facilitate rotation in our golf swings. You can find these exercises and much more on the Golf Fit Pro app for iOS.

 

1 – Mid Back Massage – 1 x 90 seconds

Using a foam roller or tightly rolled up towel, aim to apply firm pressure through the mid and upper back whilst gently pushing out the rib cage and arching back. Move up and down the roller or towel to target different areas of your spine.

 

2 – Upper Back Extension – 1 x 30 seconds

Using a bench, box or chair, push the chest down toward the floor whilst keeping your abs / core engaged. You should feel this in your mid and upper back.

 

3 – Straight Arm Chest Stretch – 1 x 30 seconds each side

 

Find a wall, post or doorway, place your hand flat with elbow pointing to the floor and arm straight. Gently turn away from your hand until your feel a stretch in your chest and front of your shoulder.

 

4 – Step Up and Turn – 1 x 5 reps each side 

 

In a push up position, move your foot to the outside of your hand (or as close as possible) then rotate your upper torso with arm straight, aiming to point your hand straight up to the ceiling.

 

5 – Back Swing and Follow Through – 1 x 10 reps

Using a piece of rubber tubing or as pictured, the GravityFit TPro, get into your golf set up position pushing out against the tubing. From there turn into your backswing and then into your follow through. Aim to do the majority of the rotation with your torso, keeping your hands in front of your body.

 

You can check out more of Nick’s articles and services here:

Articles
Golf Fit Pro App
Online Training

 

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