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A guide to buying junior golf equipment

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Junior golf equipment has come a long way in the past ten years. Gone are the days of used adult clubs that were cut down for juniors. It is fine to get a 2, or 3-year-old child started with some simple plastic clubs, but as kids get older, they need a set of golf clubs that are made with their body in mind.

Today there are several manufacturers making clubs specifically for juniors. Even with all these different types of clubs to choose from, there still are a few important things to consider when buying junior clubs. Length is the first consideration. The key is to find a set of clubs that is the right length for the junior golfer but also a set that the junior can grow with. Remember that it is all right for the junior to choke or grip down on the club. You just don’t want them to move their hands down the grip too much.

The basic rule is this: if the junior is choking down more than 1.5 to 2 inches, he or she is choking down too much. If they choke down more than 2 inches, the club is too long, and they may form habits that may be difficult to change. A set of clubs where the junior only has to grip down an inch allows them to make a normal swing at the ball and probably get two seasons out of the clubs.

Try not to let your junior play with a driver that is too long. At some point, they’re going to try and play with an adult driver before they’re ready. A driver that is too long can lead to timing problems and coming into the ball at a flat angle which makes it hard to hit the ball on the center of the face.

The next consideration is shaft flex. The main problem with the old cut-down set of golf clubs is the stiffness of the shafts. When you take 4 to 5 inches of length off a golf club, you make the shaft extremely stiff. This is the reason that junior golfers can’t hit the ball high with a cut-down set of clubs. One benefit of new junior sets is that the manufacturers are making shafts that are the right flex for a kid’s swing speed.

Using lightweight steel and graphite has made junior golf clubs more playable. The shafts of junior clubs today are so flexible that you can bend them with your hands. So check and make sure that your child’s set of clubs has a nice flexible shaft. Does your child need to be professionally fit for clubs? The general rule is that until they are 60 inches tall, they’ll be fine with a set of junior clubs from a good manufacturer.

After they reach 5 feet, experienced junior players really benefit from having each club fit for their game. The weight of the golf club is also very important to junior golfers. If the club is overly heavy, the child will struggle to take the club to the top of the backswing. The struggle to get the club back causes manipulation of the swing that will result in inconsistent shots.

A lighter club will help the junior get the club in the correct position at the top and lead to an easily repeatable swing. Just like with shaft flex, most club companies make junior clubs with lighter heads and shafts. So before you buy, just make sure you check the weight of the club and make sure it fits your junior’s age.

The size of the grip is also important. Grip size for kids is a new thought in the last few years. In the past, clubs were cut down, and any grip that fit the shaft was put on. The problem of oversized grips is the same for kids as adults. If the grip feels like a baseball bat, it’s going to change the swing mechanics.

Look for junior grips on their new set of clubs. If you’re changing grips, ask for junior grips with a core of 0.50. These thinner grips will make a difference in your kid’s game. There are now golf balls made for juniors. Here is the general rule for kids and golf balls. Most juniors swing speed is less than 80 MPH, so they can’t handle a lot of the balls on the market.

US Kids Golf makes two balls for juniors. One for kids with a swing speed less than 70 MPH and another for swing speeds around 90 MPH. These balls offer a softer core and more spin to keep the ball in the air and results in more distance. Other than US Kids, a ladies ball will help a lot of juniors that don’t produce a lot of speed.

Lastly, how many clubs does my kid need? Most experts agree that if a child starts at an early age, 4 or 5 years old, they need two clubs to start… a putter and a pitching wedge. Why a wedge instead of a driver? Because the length of the pitching wedge is short and it’s easy to get in the air. Longer clubs are obviously harder to get airborne and can lead to frustration.

As the junior progresses, add a 7 iron, then a hybrid, and then a 3-wood or driver. Those 5 clubs will get him/her through the first couple of years of golf. Once the junior has enough swing speed to make a noticeable difference in distance between irons, then they need 10 or 12 clubs in the bag. As a general rule, this usually happens around 10 years old for experienced juniors.

As adults, we realize how tough golf can be and how much the right equipment can help our games. By keeping these considerations in mind when buying junior golf equipment, you can help your junior play better golf, and more importantly, have more fun on the golf course.

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Equipment

XXIO unveils next-generation X lineup

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XXIO has today introduced its all-new XXIO X family of clubs that launch at retail on February 11, 2022.

At the core of the new lightweight X drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids is ActivWing: a technology that stabilizes the clubhead by altering aerodynamic forces at work in the first half of the downswing. The airfoil generates lift to guide the club to its optimal impact angle in design to provide maximum speed and distance.

Speaking on the new additions, Brian Schielke, General Manager at XXIO. said

“XXIO X has the DNA of every XXIO product – lightweight and easy to swing. However, it’s tuned to the more accomplished player. More compact irons, lower spinning woods, and stiffer shafts make X a great choice for better players looking to increase their speed and experience the benefits of XXIO.”

The woods feature Rebound Frame Technology, with four alternating layers of stiff and flexible zones enhancing overall COR.

In addition, for the first time, X drivers feature Rebound Frame with a Cup Face in design to offer more power on strikes across the face, while on the irons, a thinner face allows the entire face to flex more extensively while grooves etched deep into the interior of the iron body further enhance flex.

The clubs contain a heavier clubhead and an extremely lightweight shaft which work together in a bid to increase ball speed and swing speed at the same time, while manufacturers positioned mass under the grip, behind the hands in design to help players find the ideal spot at the top of their swing to make the downswing more consistent.

In addition, XXIO is also introducing its Rebound Drive golf balls which feature the company’s proprietary Rebound Frame Technology, which interposes areas with high and low rigidity in a bid to produce just the right amount of flex for higher initial ball speeds along with a pure feel at impact. 

Specs, Availability & Pricing

XXIO X

  • U.S. Retail Launch Date: February 11, 2022
  • Pricing: $699.99 for XXIO X driver, $399.99 for XXIO X fairway woods, $299.99 for XXIO X hybrids, $199.99 for individual steel irons/$224.99 for individual graphite irons, $1,199.99 for six-piece steel set/$1,349.99 for six-piece graphite set

XXIO Rebound Drive Golf Balls

  • Colors: Premium White, Lime Yellow, Premium Pink and 4 Color Pack (Premium Pink, Lime
  • Yellow, Orange, and Ruby Red)
  • U.S. Retails Launch Date: February 11, 2022.
  • Pricing: $49.99
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3-wood (or alternative) for someone who can’t hit one – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 3-woods for players who generally struggle with the club. WRXer ‘SpartyJeff’ is looking to add a 3-wood to the bag despite his difficulty to hit the club and kicks off the thread saying:

“I’m about a 3 handicap and currently have a massive gap between driver and 2 driving iron. All in all, I’m not a bad ball striker, but I absolutely cannot hit a 3-wood. Bagged the Titleist 915F for years (I know bad idea). Any suggestions on forgiving three woods? Been kicking around the idea of the Callaway Apex UW and a 2 hybrid (used to love my 2 hybrid).”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • MilfordLefty: “A forgiving 3-wood is a 5-wood. The 17° Apex UW is 5-wood loft with an inch shorter shaft, so a good option.”
  • Dax279: “If you can, try the PXG XF 3 wood. I was surprised to find how easy it was to launch off the fairway and the tee. It is lofted 1 degree higher than a regular 3-wood as well and so is kind of like a 4-wood.”
  • kwxsports: “‘ve got a TM High Launch 16.5 that is the easiest I’ve ever hit. It’s really a 4-wood I guess.”
  • scooterhd2: “Cobra F6 Baffler.”

Entire Thread: “3-wood (or alternative) for someone who can’t hit one

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Equipment

Club Champion acquires TXG

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Club Champion has today announced the acquisition of Canadian fitter and builder Tour Experience Golf (TXG), bringing the two most prominent custom club fitters on the continent together.

This integration marks the first time that Club Champion will bring their club fitting services beyond USA borders.

Speaking on the merge, Nick Sherburne, co-founder of Club Champion, said

“We are incredibly excited to bring Ian and his crew into the Club Champion family. We’re looking forward to bringing the best of both our capabilities together to serve every golfer.”

According to the press release, the intent behind the merger is “to further expand custom club fitting services across the Canadian golf market and to bring some crossover to the fitting content available for all golfers from both brands.”

On the acquisition, Ian Fraser, TXG’s founder, stated

“There has always been a mutual admiration between TXG and Club Champion. We share a similar belief that every golfer deserves the best possible equipment for their game, and now we get to work together to further that message.”

Club Champion currently has an in-house studio and production crew, while Fraser and his team at TXG have built a digital platform through social channels, including YouTube. TXG has amassed millions of views across the digital board, with 175K subscribers on YouTube alone at the time of publication.

Per the release, TXG’s existing content strategy will lend itself well to Club Champion’s growing presence, and both brands plan to lean on each other to produce quality content for golfers of all levels.

“We’ve got a podcast, they’ve got a podcast. They’ve got awesome video content and we’ve only just started dipping our toes into that lake. This partnership is about so much more than just the masterful club fitting and building services we both offer. It’s about bringing two of the most prominent names in the golf equipment industry together to promote the best possible clubs, the best possible experience, and the best possible service you can find this side of a Tour card.” – Adam Levy, CEO of Club Champion

 

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